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Visible Empire


An epic novel—based on true events—of love, grief, race, and wealth.
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Discuss Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard:
On the last page, Pittard writes, "This was life, a version of it". What do you take this to mean?

Created: 08/07/19

Replies: 12

Posted Aug. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1946

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On the last page, Pittard writes, "This was life, a version of it". What do you take this to mean?

On the last page, Pittard writes, "This was life, a version of it" (page 271). What do you take this to mean?


Posted Aug. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rorya

Join Date: 09/18/13

Posts: 19

RE: On the last page, Pittard writes,

I take that to mean that it's a version of life that Pittard found to be true enough in heart and soul for the telling. It may not necessarily be the actual truth of what was, but it's that particular truth to that particular soul. That ultimate truth cannot be easily found when emotional events are involved.


Posted Aug. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 97

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RE: On the last page, Pittard writes, "This was life, a version of it". What do you take this to mean?

Everyone has their own version of life, it may not be perfect but it is what you have.


Posted Aug. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 36

RE: On the last page, Pittard writes, "This was life, a version of it". What do you take this to mean?

We all have our own versions of life. Siblings often have quite different memories of the same events. Even long-married people will view events differently. Pittard gives us a view of five characters impacted by the terrible plane crash, and all of those views are vastly different.


Posted Aug. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ritai

Join Date: 02/15/17

Posts: 17

RE: On the last page, Pittard writes, "This was life, a version of it". What do you take this to mean?

I agree with djcminor in that we all have our own versions of life and these versions can be very different from someone who’s lived through the same thing.


Posted Aug. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lois Irene

Join Date: 01/20/16

Posts: 69

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RE: On the last page, Pittard writes, "This was life, a version of it". What do you take this to mean?

Pittard was referring to the enormous effort she had made to capture the setting of this novel by saying "This is life." By adding "...a version of it" she is recognizing that this is indeed a novel and a work of fiction.


Posted Aug. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 163

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RE: On the last page, Pittard writes, "This was life, a version of it". What do you take this to mean?

Just that. Each of us has our own 'version' of life. Each of us has our own truth. Life is in constant flux and how we react to it shows growth or stagnation.


Posted Aug. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 157

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RE: On the last page, Pittard writes, "This was life, a version of it". What do you take this to mean?

Exactly what is written and the recognition of a changing culture and what “life” meant to someone else somewhere else.


Posted Aug. 16, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 235

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RE: On the last page, Pittard writes,

Pittard had written a "version" of that time in history through the characters in the book. She tried to present differing viewpoints through their lives and actions. The crash was real, but the characters and their stories were fiction.


Posted Aug. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 157

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RE: On the last page, Pittard writes,

Robert and Lily were on the black side of town (Pittard called it "the dark side") when the novel ended, trying to see Piedmont. They took in the sights, sounds, and smells of his neighborhood and observed what life looked like for the people who lived there. Then, I assume, they drove across town to a place where things looked, smelled, and sounded differently. Everyone was in the same "place" at the same time, but what was happening on one side of Atlanta was not what was happening on another. And was Lily or Robert's version of Piedmont's neighborhood the same Piedmont had? His mother? The children playing hopscotch on the sidewalk? Versions are much more than historical events. They are each individual person's experiences at that time.


Posted Aug. 27, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 401

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RE: On the last page, Pittard writes,

There are very distinct versions of life in racially segregated cities, and this novel has just such a setting. Some versions of life were very difficult to improve and often impossible to escape. It is interesting that one of the entries in this novel's Works Consulted is a 1962 LIFE magazine article with the subtitle "Those Who Cared for the Important Things." For many Americans in segregated places in 1962 (like the character Piedmont), artwork would not have been an important thing.


Posted Sep. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 202

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RE: On the last page, Pittard writes, "This was life, a version of it". What do you take this to mean?

In historical fiction like this, the author always presents a "version" of life. What life in Atlanta in 1962 was like varied by person: white, black, rich, poor. In this scene, Lily and Robert are returning from the black side of the segregated city, the hot summer breeze putting the whole city in motion, a "kind of fast-forward of movement and life." This indeed was Atlanta, in 1962. The entire novel presents a version of life from each character's viewpoint.


Posted Sep. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
SKB

Join Date: 10/28/18

Posts: 3

RE: On the last page, Pittard writes, "This was life, a version of it". What do you take this to mean?

I agree with the others. We all have our own version of life. This was the version each character knew and lived. Their interpretation.


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