In 1974, a tiny band of self-styled urban guerrillas, calling itself the Symbionese Liberation Army, abducts a newspaper heiress, who then takes the guerrilla name 'Tania' and shocks the world by choosing to remain with her former captors. Has she been brainwashed? Why else would such a nice girl disavow her loving parents, her adoring fianc-, her comfortable home? Why would she adopt the SLA's cri de guerre, 'Death to the Fascist Insect that Preys Upon the Life of the People'? Soon most of the SLA are dead, killed in a suicidal confrontation with police in Los Angeles, forcing Tania and her two remaining comrades - the pompous and abusive General Teko and his duplicitous lieutenant, Yolanda - into hiding, where they will remain for the next sixteen months. These are the months of Tania's sentimental education. Trance, Christopher Sorrentino's mesmerising and brilliant second novel, leaps from the pages of history into satire and myth. It takes the reader on an underground tour across a beleaguered America in the company of scam artists, visionaries, cultists, and a mismatched gang of middle-class militants who typify the guiding conceit of their time, that of self-renewal. I
Christopher Sorrentino is the author of one previous novel, Sound on Sound (1995). He lives in Brooklyn.