Lyndon Johnson and the Majorettes

Difficulty at the Beginning Book 3

By (author): Keith Maillard
ISBN 9781897142080
Softcover | Publication Date: March 1, 2006
Book Dimensions: 5.25 in x 8 in
160 Pages

About the Book

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(s)

Keith Maillard is the author of thirteen novels, including Two Strand River, Alex Driving South, Motet, Hazard Zones, Gloria, The Clarinet Polka, and Difficulty at the Beginning, his four-volume Bildungsroman. He has won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize (Motet) and was shortlisted for both the Commonwealth Literary Prize (Hazard Zones) and the Governor General's Literary Awards (Gloria). The Clarinet Polka was awarded the Creative Arts Prize by the Polish American Historical Association. His poetry collection, Dementia Americana, won the Gerald Lampert Award in 1995 for the Best First Book of Poetry Published in Canada.Keith was born and raised in Wheeling, West Virginia, the inspiration for the fictional town of Raysburg, which serves as the setting for many of his novels. He has been a musician, a contributor for CBC Radio, a freelance photographer and journalist, and a designer of distance education courses. His reviews, essays, and poems have appeared in many journals, ranging from Event to Flare. He lives in West Vancouver with his wife and two daughters and teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia.


“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