Visible Empire starts out as an examination of a mass tragedy and slowly morphs into something more intimate and revelatory. Hannah Pittard’s novel is a deeply resonant portrait of individuals—and a city—in the throes of grief, and on the cusp of momentous change.
— Tom Perrotta, author of THE LEFTOVERS
The historical event that sets Hannah Pittard’s novel Visible Empire in motion, the 1962 crash of Air France’s Flight 007 that killed over a hundred of Atlanta’s elite, is so catastrophic and wide-ranging its aftermath touches every sector of the city. It tells of a community altered by tragedy and of citizens brought together by calamity. But it is also about the disasters we cause and the wreckage we must sift through afterward in order to understand the more mysterious aspects of our hearts. For those who’ve been following Pittard since The Fates Will Find Their Way, it’s a thrilling book to read because it is to witness an important writer climb to new heights, and then soar.
— Adam Ross, editor of THE SEWANEE REVIEW
Hannah Pittard is fast becoming one of the best writers of her generation, fusing the best aspects of literary and commercial fiction. Read her now, and thank me later.
— TOM FRANKLIN, author of CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER
In VISIBLE EMPIRE, Hannah Pittard has written a work that is intricate, emotionally difficult and frequently moving. It’s a view of the past that tells us much of what we need to know about the present.
— RION AMILCAR SCOTT, author of INSURRECTIONS

VISIBLE EMPIRE

From a writer who “deserves the attention of anyone in search of today's best fiction”* comes an epic novel—based on true events—of wealth, race, grief, and love, charting one sweltering summer in Atlanta that left no one unchanged (*Washington Post)

It’s a humid summer day when the phones begin to ring: disaster has struck. Air France Flight 007, which had been chartered to ferry home more than one hundred of Atlanta’s cultural leaders following a luxurious arts-oriented tour of Europe, crashed shortly after takeoff in Paris. In one fell swoop, most of the city’s wealthiest residents perished.
 
Left behind were children, spouses, lovers, friends, and a city on the cusp of great change: the Civil Rights movement was at its peak, the hedonism of the 60s was at its doorstep.  In Hannah Pittard’s dazzling and most ambitious novel yet, she gives us the journeys of those who must now rebuild this place and their lives.
 
Mayor Ivan Allen is tasked with the job of keeping the city moving forward. Nineteen-year-old Piedmont Dobbs, who had been denied admission to an integrated school, senses a moment of opportunity. Robert, a newspaper editor, must decide if he can reconnect with his beloved but estranged wife, Lily, who has learned that her wealthy parents left her penniless.
 
Visible Empire is the story of a single sweltering summer, and of the promise and hope that remains in the wake of crisis. It’s the story of a husband and wife—Robert and Lily—who don’t truly come to understand each other and their love, until their city’s chaos drives them to clarity.

This is highly charged writing, a gripping and satisfying story.
— Bobbie Ann Mason, author of The Girl in the Blue Beret
VISIBLE EMPIRE is Hannah Pittard’s best book to date. Compelling, shocking, strong, and brave. Who should read this? Everyone, everyone.
— Helen Ellis, author of AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE