Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Me and Dennis Lehane

Me in the computer case beside him, The Famous Author took a writing class from Dennis Lehane last winter. (Dennis is a REAL famous author, ever since he penned MYSTIC RIVER). A big fan of his private eye series set in Boston, and a writer who thinks his Mystic River is one of the best crime novels ever, TFA was surprised to hear Lehane say, at that writers conference, that he'd dropped the PI series, that he was done writing mysteries. From now on, Lehane said, it was literature only.

In his latest novel, out now, Jonathan Yardley of The Washington Post, says, "Lehane has done something brave and ambitious: He has written a historical novel that unquestionably is his grab for the brass ring, an effort to establish his credentials in literary as well as commercial terms. Immense in length and scope, it is set at the end of World War I, a time when "people were angry, people were shouting, people were dying in trenches and marching outside factories," and it culminates in one of the most traumatic events in Boston's history, the policemen's strike of 1919…It's a powerful moment in history, and Lehane makes the most of it."

At the conclusion of last winter's writers conference, Lehane read a scene from THE GIVEN DAY to an assembly hall of writers, teachers, and students. He held us spellbound, a scene of people talking around a dinner table, an extended family with more secrets and smokey conflict than the city erupting around them.

Literature or not, TFA is going to run right out and buy us a copy.

And good luck with YOUR writing, Dennis.

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