Monday, January 30, 2017

What is David Eric Tomlinson reading?

Featured at Writers Read: David Eric Tomlinson, author of The Midnight Man.

His entry begins:
My first novel is set in rural Oklahoma and revolved around a capital murder trial, so I was reading up on the death penalty, the Oklahoma criminal justice system, and the politics of America in the mid-1990s. The one I’m writing now is about a U.S. Army veteran who has returned home, and is struggling with that transition, so my reading has pivoted to fiction and non-fiction about violence, war, and recovery.

William T. Vollmann’s Rising Up and Rising Down: Some Thoughts on Violence, Freedom and Urgent Means is a thoughtful, comprehensive exploration of violence and its root causes, effects, and justifications. I’m reading the edited edition – all seven volumes distilled into a single book – and I find Vollmann’s moral calculi, which describe justifications for violence in certain forms, to be fascinating. You end up learning just as much about Vollmann as you do about his subject, which can only be understood, I’m learning, in its historical context. As I’m also studying PTSD, this line about both the usefulness of and lasting psychological effects done by true, blue fear really hit home: “In real danger, fear is...[read on]
About The Midnight Man, from the publisher:
Oklahoma, 1994. The Waco siege is over; the OJ trial isn’t.

Dean Goodnight, the first Choctaw Indian employed by the Oklahoma County public defender's office, pulls a new case—the brutal murder of a once-promising basketball star. The only witness is Caleb, the five-year-old son of the prime suspect. Investigating the murder, Dean draws four strangers into his client's orbit, each of whom becomes deeply involved in the case—and in Caleb's fate.

There's Aura Jefferson, the victim's sister, a proud black nurse struggling with the death of her brother; Aura's patient Cecil Porter, a bigoted paraplegic whose own dreams of playing professional basketball were shattered fifty years ago; Cecil's shady brother, the entrepreneur and political manipulator "Big" Ben Porter; and Ben's wife Becca, who uncovers a link between the young Caleb and her own traumatic past.

As the trial approaches, these five are forced to confront their deepest disappointments, hopes, and fears. And when tragedy strikes again, their lives are forever entwined.

THE MIDNIGHT MAN is filled with joyful, vividly drawn details from the basketball games serving as backbeat to the story. With great compassion and grace, author David Eric Tomlinson explores the issues underpinning one of the most dramatic events in our recent history.
Visit David Eric Tomlinson's website.

Writers Read: David Eric Tomlinson.

--Marshal Zeringue