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Book Nook: The Jealous Kind, by James Lee Burke


Recently I had another opportunity to interview James Lee Burke. The first time I interviewed Jim was in 1997 when he came out to our studios in Yellow Springs for a live interview for his novel "Cimarron Rose."

Over the course of our many conversations I have gotten to know him a little bit. He's a wonderful writer because he has such a great mind and a swirling imagination. He's also a scholar. Jim's breadth of knowledge of history, literature, and his craft never ceases to impress me.

In his latest novel "The Jealous Kind" he takes us back to the streets of his hometown of Houston, Texas. The year is 1952 and his main character Aaron Holland Broussard is a teenager on the verge of growing up far too fast. The streets are filled with the beautiful automobiles of the day and many of these vehicles are being driven by angry young men with scores to settle. In this interview the author states that during this period Houston wasn't just the Murder Capital of the United States, it was the Murder Capital of the World.

"The Jealous Kind" depicts the turf battles that were taking place. These young men were fighting over many things but one of the ongoing flashpoints of the novel is the rivalry between Aaron and another young man over the affections of a woman. Aaron is in love with her but she is also involved with this other quite dangerous fellow, a man who is enraged and possibly linked to criminal syndicates.

This is the third book in his trilogy of the Holland Family Saga. I hope that you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.

The Book Nook on WYSO is made possible by six local library systems in southwest Ohio:  the Greene County Public LibraryWashington-Centerville Public Library, MidPointe Library SystemClark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

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Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them.  Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.