ONE LAST CHANCE

Interview time  at my virtual booth Sunday, Nov. 21 @2:00 pacific, 5:00 eastern. Here’s the link to my virtual booth. Here’s the link.

https://festivalofstorytellers.com./booth/carl-brush/The wide-ranging discussion will focus on I don’t know what. It’s a spontaneous thing, but for sure we’ll look at the six novels I brought to the festival–This next-to-last event is a 30-minute dive into THE YELLOW ROSE, A NOVEL OF THE TEXAS REVOLUTION (CO-AUTHORED WITH BOB STEWART), THE MAXWELL SAGA TRILOGY (The Maxwell Vendetta, The Second Vendetta, and Swindle in Sawtooth Valley), BONITA and its sequel, YOU CAN’T KEEP HER as well as some back and forth about my life as a writer.
Come on along. It promises to be quite a ride.
[You can catch any episode you missed at the same link  https://festivalofstorytellers.com./booth/carl-brush/Cheers and see you at the festival.

Cheers,

Carl 

TWO LAST CHANCES AT THE FESTIVAL OF STORYTELLERS

Edification and delight await you still at my virtual booth Saturday, Nov. 20 @1:00 pacific, 4:00 eastern. Here’s the link to my virtual booth. 

https://festivalofstorytellers.com./booth/carl-brush/

This next-to-last event is a 30-minute dive into THE YELLOW ROSE, A NOVEL OF THE TEXAS REVOLUTION, starring Sam Houston and Emily West (Morgan?) and their epic struggle against the Mexican general Santa Ana. It’s co-authored by me and a real native Texan, my friend and colleague, Bob Stewart.

The very last minutes of the festival happen Sunday, Nov. 21—an hour long interview about The Yellow Rose and the other 5 novels I brought to the festival as well as some discussion about my life as a writer. Come on along. It promises to be quite a ride.

By the way, you can catch earlier sessions you might have missed (Daily, starting last Saturday 11/13) at the web address above.

THREE DAYS LEFT IN THE GREAT BOOK LAUNCH

I have made five presentations at the Readers Magnet Festival of Storytellers. All virtual. I’m telling the world about all six of my historical novels (Well, five, actually. The fifth doesn’t come out till next month.

I have been presenting a book a day, reviewing all books briefly before I go into depth on one. This website was down for several days, so I’m playing catch-up here. However, here’s what’s left at

https://www.festivalofstorytellers.com/booth/carl-brush/

FRIDAY, NOV. 19 1:00 P.M. PACIFIC TIME-AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE MAXWELL FAMILY SAGA–THE MAXWELL VENDETTA, THE SECOND VENDETTA, AND SWINDLE IN SAWTOOTH VALLEY

SATURDAY, NOV. 20,1:00 PM PACIFIC TIMETHE YELLOW ROSE, IN DEPTH.

SUNDAY, NOV. 21, 2 PM PACIFIC TIME–HOUR LONG INTERVIEW WITH YOURS TRULY TALKING ABOUT THE BOOKS AND MY LIFE AS AN AUTHOR

SEE YOU ALL THERE

CROSS COUNTRY ON THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY

Cross Country on The Lincoln Highway

For the uninitiated, the Lincoln Highway was the first transcontinental highway in the country, stretching from Times Square to San Francisco’s Lincoln Park, which houses the elegant Museum of the Legion of Honor, a gift of the French to America. The road was dedicated in 1913. It makes a nice symmetry, I think, that there is an iconic French gift to the U.S. on each coast. However, That’s not the subject of Amor Towles novel, so let’s switch. 

Click on the graphic to see this item on Amazon.com
AMOR TOWLES

One boy is released from a reformatory after serving a sentence for a more or less accidental death. He punched a guy who fell and hit his head. His father dead, and an atmosphere of resentment hanging over him in the small Nebraska town, He determines to start a new life. The plan is to sell everything, climb in a car which he managed to purchase pre “crime”, climb on the highway with his orphaned younger brother, and drive to San Francisco. There, he figures he can use his carpentry skills and the cash from the sales of his family farm to buy a house, fix it up, flip it, and go on to build himself a bit of an empire. Plans thwarted, of course. Two of his reform school buddies escape from the reformatory, and through some smooth talking and deception manage to turn him around and travel to New York instead of San Francisco. The rest of the story is episodic, even picaresque as we move from one adventure to the next and move back and forth among various characters. Between those people’s fantasies and various backstories, we find ourselves wound up with these vagabonds in a suspenseful, comical, and deeply moving coming of age story that is both life-affirming and rewarding to read. Towles is a story teller worth following. Those of us who have read A Gentleman in Moscow already know that. The rest of you, Go find out for yourself.

Kia and the Magnet Carter

The Castle Cross The Magnet Carter is a mouthful of a title, but it fits because this is a delicious mouthful of a novel. Corthron’s basic elements are a pair of twins, one black, one white, one from Maryland, one from Alabama. We start at their childhood, but it isn’t long before we’re catapulted across state and family lines into a tangle of adventures and relationships. The novel moves sometimes smoothly, sometimes by jerks and starts between past and present. It turns out that these families are inextricably intertwined through sets of circumstances which I won’t go into here, partly because it would take a ton of explaining and partly because it would be a gigantic spoiler for a reader. It’s enough, I think, to say that from their childhood interactions through their old age, we grow to appreciate and participate not only in the characters’ personal and family lives but into the history that surrounds them as they travel through their lives.

We start out–well not really start out because we keep going back and forth–in World War II. Then, for those of  us who know and remember, comes the Korean thing. Then on into the civil rights movement. Each period produces its own set of loves, resentments, fondnesses, and grudges. At times the injustices seemed, however, disturbing, to be part and parcel of much history and many tales I’d read before. I was somewhat upset, but not shocked–KKK stuff, children jailed and tried as adults, betrayals by people who were supposed to be friends, etc. All of these Corthron handles with admirable skill. I was particularly impressed with the intricate interactions surrounding the death of one of the mothers. There were, however, a couple of scenes made me want to scream at the injustices. One, not because it was more horrendous than some that had gone before, but because it was so immediate. Black folks waiting for hours in the heat, forbidden water and food, all not for a chance to vote, but for a chance to register to vote. I guess thing may have improved a smidgen in that now the struggle is whether to actually fill out a ballot.

The second was a different animal. I’ve read plenty of lynching narratives, true and untrue, and the well written ones always turn your stomach. My best recent example is Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad. It was recently made into a tv special, and parts of it made me turn my head from the screen. Unfortunately,  I couldn’t do that maneuver with the Magnet Carta narrative without missing the whole thing. It is the most brutal and ugly piece of action I think I’ve ever read, lynching or not. wanted to scream at the injustices. Magnet Carter is a long book. So long that publishers turned it down repeatedly till it was finally accepted. Reputedly, they wanted her to cut more, but she protested that she’d already cut 400 pages, so what did they want? Corthron has earned some celebrity as a playwright, so maybe she went a little overboard at being turned loose in a medium that doesn’t normally require the whole product to be finished in a couple of hours. However, those of us who stick with it are richly rewarded with a book that is not only a tale well and truly told, but a chronicle of key parts of American history. It deserves a place in the canon of our literature.

Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead