Richard Dresser’s Strikingly Relevant Debut Political Fiction Publishes at a Crucial Time for America

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Richard Dresser’s Strikingly Relevant Debut Political Fiction Publishes at a Crucial Time for America.

Imagine an America hijacked by a totalitarian president who amasses power through fear, division and “patriotism.” In "It Happened Here" (releasing from Brown Books Publishing Group on October 6, 2020), Richard Dresser chronicles the death of democracy, the unprecedented reign of The Great Leader in America, and the pervasive and devastating effect these events have on the people of the nation. "It Happened Here" offers a poignant and evocative oral history of an American family from 2019 – 2035 that will leave readers pondering today’s political and social climate as well as their own personal relationship to their country and family.

In 2020, the elections are cancelled and the president seizes ultimate power for sixteen years, splitting the country and individual families, especially the Weeks family, along political and ideological lines. "It Happened Here" weaves the individual family members’ personal stories together to create a masterful and dynamic tale of a family navigating the trickling demise of democracy in the country they love. Dresser’s keen observations of humanity and subtle but smart humor breathe life into this emotional story of everlasting hope that survives even in the darkest of times.

“It was important to me that the book not be a polemic that only resonates for those of a particular political stripe. There are no villains in the family, although characters line up on different sides politically. I hope that by dealing with the characters on their own terms, political questions are raised but not answered. That’s up to the reader. My goal was to write an engaging book that would inspire readers to consider the profound nature of our historical moment, and the consequences if we fail to live up to the challenge.” — Richard Dresser

Richard Dresser is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and television writer. His many plays, including “Below the Belt” and “Rounding Third,” have been produced throughout New York, Europe and leading regional theaters. He is president and a founding member of the Writers Guild Initiative, which conducts writing workshops all over the country with the mission of giving a voice to populations who are not being heard. Dresser teaches screenwriting at the graduate film school of Columbia University and lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, with his wife, Rebecca. Visit him online at

Advance Praise for "It Happened Here"

“Oh God. It rings true.” — Roy Blount Jr.

“A dysfunctional family moves into a dystopian future created by a so-called Great Leader who keeps postponing elections. It’s a nightmare, but why am I laughing so hard? Richard Dresser’s 'It Happened Here' is the witty, resonant story we need right now.” — Betsy West, Codirector of RBG and Fred W. Friendly Professor Emerita at Columbia Journalism School

“This book is as astonishing as it is extraordinary. Richard Dresser has stared into the wounded chasm that is our political division and in it seen the intersection where reality meets fiction. He has found the heartbeat of our nightmare in the American family. With a cold eye and deep compassion, he has crafted a tale in which deep sadness gives hope and in which deep darkness brings laughter. Truly a worthy read.” — Lewis Black, Actor, Comedian, Playwright, Longest-Running Cast Member of The Daily Show, and New York Times Best-Selling Author of Nothing’s Sacred and Me of Little Faith

“Richard Dresser’s 'It Happened Here' is a witheringly funny, presciently wise, and deeply alarming account of a nation’s corruption and a family’s redemption. If you still believe a single leader can’t poison a nation’s soul, if you imagine the worst won’t come to pass, if you presume the current assault on our Constitution will fail, then for your own good and the good of our country, wake up and read his powerful, important novel. Dresser’s fiction pulsates with truth. Don’t say you weren’t warned.” — Peter Quinn, Award-Winning Author of Hour of the Cat, The Man Who Never Returned, Looking for Jimmy, and The Banished Children of Eve

“Listen up ... you are out of your mind if you don’t read 'It Happened Here' as soon as possible. It’s more than a prescient prediction of our dystopian political future, more than a helter-skelter tumble down the rabbit hole of life ... it’s a heartbreaking, hilarious tale of a dysfunctional American family just as screwed up as yours. I don’t know who this Richard Dresser guy is, but I’d like to shake hands with him.” — Jay Tarses, Television writer and producer, creator of “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd” and “The Slap Maxwell Story,” and producer of the noteworthy             “Carol Burnett Show” and “The Bob Newhart Show.”

“'It Happened Here,' as its title would suggest, is equal parts thriller, jeremiad and comic demolition of who we are no matter where we’re headed, as it tracks an extended family’s disintegration that’s simultaneous with its country’s. It’s affecting in its assertion that taking care of a community begins with taking care of one another, and it’s harrowing and funny and persuasive in its claim that as a nation — and a species — we probably should have sought professional help somewhere along the way.” — Jim Shepard, Award-Winning Novelist and Author of The World to Come and The Book of Aron

Consumers can purchase “It Happened Here” at traditional brick-and-mortar bookstores or online at, Barnes and Noble, or

For additional information or inquiries about “It Happened Here,” contact The Agency at Brown Books Publishing at 972-381-0009.

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