US! is a playful, darkly comic novel that imagines the serial resurrection and assassination of tireless muckraker and writer Upton Sinclair. In Chris Bachelder's wonderful world, Sinclair is repeatedly brought back to life by beleaguered but optimistic leftists (whose refrain is 'Hope and Shovels Forever'), and then gunned down (and once harpooned) by those seeking fame, fortune and American business as usual. As he grows more and more politically and culturally insignificant, Sinclair keeps writing his embarrassingly bad muckraking novels and continues risking his life for the Socialist revolution, which is perpetually just around the corner. Through stories, songs, letters, journal entries, book reviews, memos, a syllabus, newspaper and magazine articles, Internet auctions, transcripts of talk shows, interviews and toll-free hotlines, Bachelder documents the demise (but dogged faith) of the American Left, as well as the violence and hysteria of the Right. U.S.! is not only a satire of American politics and culture, but an exploration of the possibilities and problems of political art.
Chris Bachelder grew up in Virginia and received an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Florida. He is currently an assistant professor at Colorado College, and is the author of the novel Bear v. Shark, which was published in four countries.