Monday, January 21, 2013

The Return of Steve

From Penguin Group website:  In 1936, in the midst of the Great Depression, photographer Dorothea Lange took a photograph for the Federal Resettlement Program that would become the most iconic image of that unforgettable time in American history. Her subject was Florence Owens Thompson, a thirty-two-year-old Native American and mother of seven, whose arresting face became the defining symbol of American poverty. Mary Coin is a novel inspired by that photograph.

Now, here's Steve...

...finished up Mary Coin last night - this strikes me as a possible 'one town one book' candidate. Could not help but reflect on how this book is like a Venn diagram with Mary as the key circle and the other characters intersecting in small slices off her - the other image I had was circles within circles. 

Back in the mid 70's I  was working for Lincoln Action Program, a community action agency, and was asked to help an elderly woman relocate from her apartment above a downtown store to someplace else - she took me up to her room where her few possessions were mostly packed.  On the dresser was a photograph of a young woman, dressed in a fancy outfit (with fringe ,I  think), and stunningly beautiful face.   I asked if that was her and she acknowledged it -I  said she was quite the dish in her youth age and poverty had worn the shine right off her - salvation army clothing, stooped posture, and a face creased with disappointment the only thing an observer would notice at that point - never saw her again, but the memory stuck with me, squeezed out by Marisa Silver  and her fictional account of that woman.

 Let me jump in for a second and explain...Steve has taken to reading poetry aloud each morning.
My morning poetry reading is about to shift gears to Dante's Inferno - am also reading Ted Koozer's The Poetry Home Repair Manual- Ted was named poet laureate a while back, a local celeb that is about as unassuming and plain as a grown up farm kid - think his thoughts on poetry will serve in my prose efforts.

Here I go again....Long before I have finished reading the draft of Steve's first novel, he has surprised me with the news that he is well underway with his second.  I won't give too much away, except that it is set in a small town south of Door County and focues on a women's book discussion group.  Hmmmmm...

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