Thursday, July 27, 2017

What is Dave Boling reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Dave Boling, author of The Lost History of Stars.

His entry begins:
Fearing a cross-contamination of styles, I don’t read novels much when I’m working on one of my own. I may dip into a dozen books a day while checking for margin notes and underlined passages that inspire me. But, being suggestible, I fear I might fall victim to the power of somebody else’s words and tempo and style, and it will disrupt the “voice” of the story I’m working on.

But I do like to start a writing day by reading poetry, hoping to be influenced by the concision of words, the clarity and the insight. Tony Hoagland is a current favorite because of his vision and wit, and his ability to decode contemporary absurdities.

At the moment I was invited to identify the book I was reading, it was The Blue Buick, a collection by B.H. Fairchild. I’ve been a fan since reading “Body and Soul,” a lengthy narrative poem that may be the best piece of sports-adjacent writing I know. It’s a remembrance of a group of hardscrabble Oklahoma laborers and an existential sandlot baseball outing on summer Sunday afternoon.

They are looking back to the dusty day when they became victims to...[read on]
About The Lost History of Stars, from the publisher:
From a forgotten moment in history comes an inspiring novel about finding strength and courage in the most unimaginable places.

In turn-of-the-century South Africa, fourteen-year-old Lettie, her younger brother, and her mother are Dutch Afrikaner settlers who have been taken from their farm by British soldiers and are being held in a concentration camp. It is early in the Boer War, and Lettie’s father, grandfather, and brother are off fighting the British as thousands of Afrikaner women and children are detained. The camps are cramped and disease ridden; the threat of illness and starvation are ever present. Determined to dictate their own fate, Lettie and her family give each other strength and hope as they fight to survive amid increasingly dire conditions.

Brave and defiant, Lettie finds comfort in memories of stargazing with her grandfather, in her plan to be a writer, and in surprising new friendships that will both nourish and challenge her. A beautiful testament to love, family, and sheer force of will, The Lost History of Stars was inspired by Dave Boling’s grandfather’s own experience as a soldier during the Boer War. Lettie is a figure of abiding grace, and her story is richly drawn and impossible to forget.
Visit Dave Boling's website.

Writers Read: Dave Boling.

--Marshal Zeringue