Thursday, June 08, 2017

What is Mark Powell reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Mark Powell, author of Small Treasons.

His entry begins:
I always seem to be reading too many books, piling them on the nightstand or the floor, forgetting one, picking it back up. My side of the bed is my wife’s waking nightmare.

Right now, I’m finishing up a novel set primarily in Eastern Europe so a lot of what I’m reading is background on the region. Anne Applebaum’s Iron Curtain, Peter Conradi’s Who Lost Russia?, Tim Judah’s In Wartime: Stories from Ukraine, Misha Glenny’s giant history of...[read on]
About Small Treasons, from the publisher:
With writing that is both devastating and tender, Mark Powell brings his acclaimed eye to an American marriage on the verge of rupture, spinning an all-too-current tale of the world we live in and the world we fear—and how we may not be able to tell the two apart—perfect for fans of Adam Johnson’s Fortune Smiles and Denis Johnson’s The Laughing Monsters.

Tess Maynard is coming apart. At home with her three young children in her husband’s Georgia hometown, people keep asking if she’s depressed, if she and John are okay.

Secretly, she’s becoming obsessed with the war on terror—an ISIS beheading video in particular. Something about the victim’s captivity on the computer screen resonates with her. Something inside of her demands endless prayers for a world gone mad.

The carefully constructed life of her husband is likewise beginning to unravel. Now a college counselor, John’s former life bears persistently into the present. Once a contractor at a CIA black site that interrogated suspected terrorists—and one innocent civilian—he is given a choice by the Justice Department: either help with a problem in the homeland, or they investigate.

Forced by an old colleague to spy on a new one, John’s experiences abroad come home to roost in Georgia. For his wife, for his family, he goes along with the game. But just as he and Tess work to salvage their life together, the world comes between them in the form of a young man slowly being radicalized by the professor John is reporting on.

In a moment Tess imagined and never wanted to see, the intersection of their three lives is as devastating as the bomber’s explosion of hate and metal, and as inevitable as the battle between powers great and personal.
The Page 69 Test: The Sheltering.

My Book, The Movie: The Sheltering.

Writers Read: Mark Powell.

--Marshal Zeringue