October 18, 2021

Lucky Life

Arts Fanatics

In new novel by Greensboro author Lee Zacharias, idealism grows up

3 min read

The recognition of QAnon conspiracy theories proceeds to astound pundits.

But consider this: In the 1960s into the 1980s, perhaps countless numbers of smart, university-educated Americans sincerely believed the place was on the verge of a violent, Russian-style revolution. If only adequate bombs went off in plenty of general public buildings, the U.S. government and capitalism itself would collapse like a residence of playing cards.

Things turned out a little in another way.

Greensboro novelist Lee Zacharias (“At Random,” “Throughout the Terrific Lake”) recalls these tense situations in “What a Great Earth This Could Be,” a tale of youthful idealism colliding with age and experience.

"What a Wonderful World This Could Be" is the new novel from Greensboro writer Lee Zacharias. It's about, among other things, '60s radicalism and the lost art of pre-digital photography.

Zacharias’ protagonist is Alex, an art photographer who teaches at a tiny Virginia school. (Only her mother called her “Alexandra.”)  In early 1982, she’s 36 and has not observed her partner for 11 several years.

But then he demonstrates up: Ted Neal, antiwar activist and bombing suspect, is about to surrender himself to federal authorities in Washington. Then, the mom of a gentleman who went MIA in Vietnam shoots him in the head.

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