June 2010


At first glance, The Missing is a book that is basically screaming my name. It’s a mystery, it’s historical, and it’s set in the South. So why didn’t I love it?

Well, for one, despite its recent Edgar nomination, The Missing is less a mystery novel and more a meditation on the nature of loss and the gaping holes that people leave in our lives when they suddenly disappear. It’s the story of Sam Simoneaux, a New Orleans musician (and WWI veteran) who gets tangled up in the family and fate of a missing child, Lily Weller. The novel follows his journey through the South of the 1920s as he tries to find Lily. Bookending the main action, and woven through it at times, are Sam’s attempts to deal with a tragic past–a murdered family, a son lost to illness, memories of war–and forge a future.

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So here’s the deal: I’ve had a personal blog for a while (uh, several, actually), but I’ve decided that it’s high time I separated out the professional matter and started an actual online presence for myself. The personal blog will remain (and remain anonymous), but I’ll be posting more serious (or at least more grammatically correct) material here: book reviews, cultural commentaries, short historical pieces. I’ll also be combing through my archives and reworking/reposting the pieces I’m particularly fond of. So don’t be confused if it suddenly seems like I’m posting a response to a two-year-old article.

I welcome criticism and discussion, but please be polite. Try to err on the side of constructive criticism.

And now, since I’m in such a good mood this evening, here’s some music for you to enjoy: