Saturday, April 23, 2011

What is Stephen Singular reading?

This weekend's featured contributor at Writers Read: Stephen Singular, author of The Wichita Divide: The Murder of Dr. George Tiller and the Battle over Abortion.

His entry begins:
My wife Joyce and I are in a band that plays Latin jazz, standards, rock, and blues. She’s the singer and I’m the guitarist, so we’re always interested in stories about musicians. Last winter she read Just Kids by Patti Smith and suggested I give it a look. I did and really enjoyed the book, which focuses on Manhattan’s Chelsea Hotel and the music scene in the East Village in the 1970s. It chronicles Smith’s relationship as a young woman with the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, but the most striking part is that the narrative is almost entirely about their lives before she achieved fame as a poet/rock star. The majority of celebrity bios talk about what happened after someone became rich and famous, and that’s often accompanied by a lot of name-dropping.

Smith does drop a few well-known monikers...[read on]
Among the early praise for The Wichita Divide:
"In this stirring account of the 2009 murder of Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, true crime veteran Singular (Unholy Messenger) presents a portrait not only of a man and his killer but of the national debate about abortion so rabid it led to murder. On Sunday, May 31, 2009, Scott Roeder walked into the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kans., and shot Tiller in the head. Tiller had been performing abortions—and most controversially, late-term abortions—at his women's health clinic since the 1970s, despite being the main target of many of the nation's most vitriolic pro-life groups. Roeder first became attracted to antitax fringe groups and drifted toward anti-abortion groups such as Operation Rescue, though after Tiller's murder none would outright condone his act. Though he claimed the "necessity defense"—that killing Tiller was necessary to prevent abortion—at trial, Roeder was convicted of first-degree murder. Singular, a Kansas native who also wrote about Wichita's infamous BTK killer, expertly folds in Tiller's life story and Roeder's steady decline with the blood-soaked history of the abortion debate."
--Publishers Weekly

"A disturbing, haunting journey into unrepentant hatred."
Watch Stephen Singular on The Rachel Maddow Show.

Learn more about The Wichita Divide and its author at Stephen Singular's website and blog.

The Page 99 Test: The Wichita Divide.

Writers Read: Stephen Singular.

--Marshal Zeringue