Five famous US Presidents in works of fiction


'Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter' was adapted into a 2012 film starring Benjamin Walker in the titular role. Photo: Filepic

Joe Biden sworn in as 46th US president is the big news of today.

As the United States and the rest of the world await the positive changes this new administration will bring, here’s a list books featuring notable US presidents as depicted in fiction.

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

No US president is as famous as Abraham Lincoln. In this action horror mash-up novel, the writer explores the secret life of Lincoln and the untold story that shaped America.

When a young Lincoln discovers that vampires were behind his mother’s death, he sets out on a path of vengeance that leads him straight to the White House.

Now, wielding an axe, the president goes on a dangerous mission to eliminate bloodthirsty vampires who are planning to take over the country.

11/22/63 by Stephen King

With Stephen King, you can expect a bit of a mind-bender when it comes to American presidents.

In this science fiction thriller, Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Maine, stumbles upon a portal.

He unwittingly becomes a time traveller when he steps into the portal and travels back to Sept 9,1958... five years before the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy.

Jake tries to use the portal to prevent the assassination but can something so big be stopped?

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

While the president is seen as arguably the most powerful man on earth, he is also a husband and a family man.

This novel explores the delicate tension between Alice Blackwell who is privately at odds with her husband George Blackwell, the President of the United States.

What makes this novel even more interesting is that Alice and George are fictionalised versions of Laura and George W.Bush.

Watergate by Thomas Mallon

Before Donald Trump, there was Richard Nixon. This infamous president was so mired in scandal and crime, he makes a good character study for novelists.

Thomas Mallon gives his own witty and creative spin to the Watergate scandal which eventually led to his impeachment and resignation.

From late-night thieves and phone bugs to destroyed evidence, the Watergate scandal and its mastermind Richard Nixon is unlike any other.

While other novels and movies have depicted the president as a two-dimensional character, this writer gives Nixon more depth and nuance, making him more human and not the personification of evil.

Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings: A Novel by Stephen O’Connor

A controversial figure in his own right, Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and one of America’s Founding Fathers, was a lifelong slaveholder.

Historians believe that Jefferson was the father of Sally Hemings’ children, a woman of mixed-race owned by the president.

This novel imagines the state of their relationship and draws a thin line between love and Stockholm syndrome.

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