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Fiction General

Lyndon Johnson and the Majorettes

Difficulty at the Beginning Book 3

by (author) Keith Maillard

Brindle & Glass Publishing
Initial publish date
Mar 2006
General, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2006
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2011
    List Price

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A Globe and Mail Top 100 Pick of 2006


It is the summer of 1965. The assassination of JFK has left John Dupre—and all of America— with Lyndon Baines Johnson, that Southern asshole with a public persona cut from an old rock and roll song: I RIDE FROM TEXAS TO ENFORCE THE LAW.

It's oppressively hot, the kind of heat that makes it practically impossible to do anything, or even think straight—and if John's brains aren't addled enough by the temperature, there’s the endless obsession with girls—the persistent problems of his old flame Cassandra Markapolous and her younger sister Zoë. There's also the massive Civil War novel he’s been studiously not working on. And to make things worse, LBJ's starting to call up the reserves. This is John in that gruelling summer waste land, a fat, broke, horny, unemployed, draft-eligible, Buddhist Confederate, who, if he doesn't do something drastic, is going to find his fat, broke, horny ass shipped overseas to get it shot off.

Lyndon Johnson and the Majorettes is a delightful performance, a crackerjack novella that works on multiple levels, as intoxicating as a mint julep and as tightly wound as the spring in a homemade time-bomb.

About the author

Keith Maillard is the author of fourteen novels, including Two Strand River, Gloria, The Clarinet Polka, Difficulty at the Beginning, and most recently Twin Studies. He has won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Literary Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Awards. Keith was born and raised in West Virginia, and now lives in Vancouver. He has been a musician, a contributor for CBC Radio, a freelance photographer, and a journalist. He teaches at the University of British Columbia.

Keith Maillard's profile page

Editorial Reviews

'Lyndon Johnson and the Majorettes' is haunted by the spectres of the Vietnam War, the draft and Lyndon Johnson himself. —Globe and Mail

Four well-crafted, handsomely produced novels . . . follows protagonist John Dupre from his high-school years in the late 1950s through the early '60s counterculture to the late '60s, when Americans who didn't agree with the Vietnam War but got drafted were faced with the major ethical dilemma of their young lives. —Globe and Mail

Other titles by Keith Maillard