Pat Nixon remains one of our most mysterious and intriguing public figures, the only modern First Lady who never wrote a memoir. Ann Beattie, like many of her generation, dismissed Richard Nixon’s wife. Decades later, she wonders what it must have been like to be married to such a spectacularly ambitious and catastrophically self-destructive man. Drawing on a wealth of sources, Beattie reconstructs dozens of scenes in an attempt to see the world from Mrs. Nixon’s point of view. This fascinating and intimate account offers readers a rare glimpse into the imagination of a writer. Mrs. Nixon (Scribner, $26) is a startlingly compelling and revelatory work.