Heartland

Restless Books
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In a word-drunk romp through an alternate, pre-apocalyptic United States, Ana Simo’s fiction debut, Heartland, is the uproarious story of a thwarted writer’s elaborate revenge on the woman who stole her lover, blending elements of telenovela, pulp noir, and dystopian satire.

There’s only one solution for a nasty case of writer’s block, and that’s murder. Specifically, that of one Mercy McCabe, a cunning SoHo art dealer who was once our Latina narrator’s rival for the scrumptious Bebe. When she discovers that McCabe has squandered Bebe’s affections after stealing her away, revenge is not enough: she must admit her guilt, sentence herself, and beg for her own execution, Soviet-style.

In the all-too-terrifyingly-familiar America of Heartland, the inconceivable has become ordinary: corruption and greed at the top have led to mass starvation in the heartland; hordes of refugees have escaped from resettlement camps and attack the cities; a puritanical Caliphate has toppled Constantinople, with America in its sights. Meanwhile, escaping her New York life in disguise, our heroine lures McCabe to her home turf: a hilltop house in the Great Plains where her parents worked as domestic servants. Her nemesis, though, is slippery, and McCabe disappears, threatening to ruin a homicidal masterplan so detailed as to be akin to love. 

Heartland is a hilarious, genre-defying debut that confronts taboos of race, assimilation, and sex through a high-voltage tale of love, language, and revenge.

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About the author

 Ana Simo is the author of a dozen plays, a short feature film, and countless articles. A New Yorker most of her life, she was born and raised in Cuba. Forced to leave the island during the political/homophobic witch-hunts of the late 1960s, she first immigrated to France, where she studied with Roland Barthes and participated in early women’s and gay/lesbian rights groups. In New York next, she co-founded Medusa’s Revenge theatre, the direct action group the Lesbian Avengers, the national cable program Dyke TV, and the groundbreaking The Gully online magazine, offering queer views on everything. Heartland is her first novel.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Restless Books
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Published on
Jan 16, 2018
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9781632061515
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Dystopian
Fiction / Hispanic & Latino
Fiction / LGBT / Lesbian
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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It is 2027. The episode opens with a snapshot of the State Command Control-Tower. It is monitoring the State-leader, Royston Bustwick. He is speeding through the Capital in a platinum-coloured vehicle, with helmeted guards - strapped onto outside standing-boards, as they guard him. He returns safely to the Vivatrium with his chief-minder, Commodore Petersen. They alight to attend a meeting upstairs in the chamber of the Dominus Regis. They formally convene the Table of Knowledge, a type of cabinet, for the purpose of governing the state. Bustwick offers his Exchequer, Jack Spooner some meeting bread dipped in a spicy sauce. Bustwick proposes a toast, “To order out of chaos,” (an old mason proclamation).


After some strange, but short rituals are completed, Royston Bustwick begins to preside over the agenda under a classical architectural feature – the painted dome of the Dominus Regis. He is depicted in a similar to the way Christ might have sat with his twelve apostles at the Last Supper. From here, on this day - he rules the state. A vote is taken to keep Governor Graves on life-support. This allows Bustwick to maintain dual roles and powers, as he fills in for Graves whilst his coma continues, as it has for the last 20 months. The Exchequer has objected. He believes it costs too much to keep a lame-duck governor in a permanent coma. We surmise that Spooner has alternative motives: he dislikes Bustwick enjoying this increase in power and position. What Spooner really wants is the State-leader's job.


When Jack Spooner is invited to take some meeting bread from a tray, it casts a shadow over the Exchequer as a potential ‘Judas’ figure. Commodore Petersen has informants everywhere throughout the Capital, who keep an eye on Spooner. The Exchequer as the anti-hero has begun to oppose the Docklands building project. As the meeting progresses, the oligarchs appear less worried than he, that the cost blow-outs can be contained by Sir Percy, Director-General Fagan and their officials within the Infrastructure and Tourism Bureau.


Dirk van Ritter – is discussed, especially his antics at Sir Percy’s gala-ball where he became the ping-pong champion at that charity event, held at St. Dandy’s - back in December 2025. The oligarch’s are raucous at hearing he might be a genuine ’foot-washer’. One who is attracted to washing the feet of others, possibly as a fetish, or possibly as an act of genuine service – we do not know. But if he is one, the oligarchs decide they want him to wash their feet, the next time they engage in that ritual.


Readers are introduced to the Attorney-General, Reginald Thudmore. He stands to propose a maverick plan to feed 5,000 citizen’s at some 12 sittings per day. After the great economic crash, millions have been turned out of the Capital into debt-internment camps. He is compelled to want to feed them more productively. He proposes to fund the compulsory acquisition of some ‘faster-food’ outlets. His slide show explains to the oligarchs how they are able to dispose of vehicles, and have the citizens lined up instead - in rows to get a meal. The proposal is met with enthusiasm and is finally passed by them.

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