WYSO

Books - Fiction

For the past half century working class Americans have watched as their economic status has been in decline. Manufacturing jobs went away. Labor unions have seen their power to protect American jobs dwindle. The lives of working class Americans are rarely depicted in fiction. Connie Schultz understands the lives of our working class citizens. She grew up in a working class family and her experiences and insights inform the action and inspired the characters in her novel "The Daughters of Erietown."

Will anybody ever know us completely? Is it possible to admit everything about oneself? Aren't there always things one feels are impossible to reveal? Embarrassing things? Weird thoughts? Scary desires?

Our upcoming November election is just around the corner and political campaigns are heating up. President Trump is creating an atmosphere of suspicion by asserting that voting by mail is subject to tampering. While this has never been proven to be the case he's plowing ahead with these accusations and creating doubts about the integrity of our election process.

Once upon a time authors went out on book tours. They would travel around the country and meet their readers in bookstores and libraries and all sorts of literary venues. The prevalence of authors going out on book tours has been in decline since the financial crisis of 2008. After that publishers began tightening their budgets and if you were not an author with a big name they were much more reluctant to subsidize your plane tickets and hotel expenses.

In 1998 Wally Lamb was on book tour to publicize his blockbuster novel "I Know This Much Is True." The novel had been catapulted to literary glory when it was selected as the featured book by Oprah Winfrey for her Book Club. Lamb is that rare lucky author who then went on to have his next book chosen by Oprah as well. He came out to Yellow Springs to do an interview with me.

I did not realize that Shuly Xóchitl Cawood was a writer. I knew her dad was a writer and I had noticed her around the village of Yellow Springs on many occasions. To me the thing that stood out about her was that I would often notice she was wearing a big smile while walking arm in arm with her mom.

When it comes to fiction Don Winslow can do it all. He has written some of my favorite novels. "Broken," his new collection of novellas, is a delightful departure from some of his more massive work of recent years.

This is probably my favorite interview, so far, that I have done with Don. We got off on some really fun tangents. Don talked about literary pilgrimages that he has made. And we spun into a really interesting thread about how the western novels of yesteryear have spawned the thriving crime fiction genre of our present day.

In 2003 George Pelecanos was on a book tour that took him through Dayton. He came out to Yellow Springs to do a live interview. That was a memorable experience. It was my first interview with George and I must say that I was impressed.

The best fiction offers readers opportunities to travel down imaginary avenues that will hopefully provide temporary exits to briefly escape from the bindings of existences that can seen very mundane. Especially now as we are being forced to be even more mundane than usual.

Daniel Trussoni's new novel offers us a spectacular escape route. Listen to our interview then book your flight and get set for take off on Trussoni Airways. The view of the mountains below will be spectacular!

Some novels are so fresh and original it is always a pleasant shock to discover them. "Darling Rose Gold" by Stephanie Wrobel is one of those books. Her premise is so original. As the book begins our protagonist, Darling Rose Gold, of our title, is picking her mother up to bring her home from prison. Her mother has been serving time for something she did. Her mother had been afflicted with what is known as Munchausen's syndrome by proxy. The things she had forced her daughter to endure as a child had been so awful that she had been convicted and sent to prison as punishment.

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