Benjamin Percy and David Zimmerman to Read from New Novels
Two MFA faculty members to read from new books at Parks Library event.
Two faculty members in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment will read from their highly-acclaimed new novels. Benjamin Percy's, The Wilding, and David Zimmerman's, The Sandbox will be featured by the Parks Library.
Praise for Benjamin Percy's The Wilding
Wilderness, in several senses, is at the root of this ambitious first novel. A man named Justin; his impulsive, willful father; and his studious, school-age son spend a weekend camping and hunting in an Oregon wilderness area that will soon become a golf resort. Portents of danger accompany them: a rattler in their tent, an enraged redneck, and signs of a marauding bear. But it’s granddad who seems the greatest threat, and Justin, who has always shied away from confrontation, worries that even if they survive, the fabric of family may not. Percy skillfully limns the psychic wildernesses of his characters even as he paints a vivid image of central Oregon’s high desert, the impact of development, and the divide between capitalism and conservation. A parallel story of Justin’s angst-ridden wife, who is being stalked by an ex-marine who suffered a horrific head wound in Iraq, is also effective; but it creates one more psychic wilderness than the book can handle. The Wilding seems a bit overambitious, but, even so, it draws readers in and holds them in its grasp. --Thomas Gaughan, Booklist
Praise for David Zimmerman's The Sandbox
The situation at remote Forward Operating Base Cornucopia isn’t good. Once home to 150 enlisted men, troop strength has been reduced to 45, and an IED attack has reduced that by 3. The commanding officer is a green West Point lieutenant who is a mystery to his troops, and locals with uncertain loyalties warn that a large force is massing nearby to wipe them out. A sandstorm has halted supply shipments, and the camp’s only video-game console has been stolen. Private Toby Durrant soldiers on, but the arrival and the actions of a lone, creepy intelligence officer hint that things are much, much worse than he realized. Interestingly, Durrant’s war is identified only contextually through allusions to Bush administration blunders. This fine first novel skillfully portrays both the eternal verities of war as well as the stark differences that each war imposes on the young who do the fighting; like many war novels, it powerfully conveys the message that young soldiers are more honorable than those who put them in harm’s way. --Thomas Gaughan, Booklist