Friday, August 12, 2011

John Dalton

John Dalton is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been awarded fellowships at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts and the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. His first novel, Heaven Lake, won the Barnes and Noble 2004 Discover Award in fiction and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Heaven Lake was listed as a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Dalton is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and is currently a member of the English faculty at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he teaches in their MFA Writing Program.

His new novel is The Inverted Forest.

Recently I asked Dalton what he was reading. His reply:

Along with a group of very astute and fearless graduate students, I just finished reading David Mitchell’s astounding Cloud Atlas. It’s six divided novels packed into a huge, one-of-a-kind book. These sub-novels range in time period from 1850 to the distant post-apocalyptic future. Mitchell’s ambition is writ very large. And I’m tempted to complain about the disorienting challenges of Cloud Atlas… except that moment by moment, scene by scene, journal by journal, the novel, if you allow it to work its magic, is so alive and entertaining and smart. If you’re seeking a less challenging David Mitchell experience, try the wonderful coming of age, Black Swan Green.


Just started reading the very engaging Banvard’s Folly by Paul Collins. It’s about thirteen prominent scientists, artists, inventors who, because of bad luck or personal flaws, are no longer remembered. They’ve been swallowed by time.


I’m making my way through the selected poems of Wallace Stevens. Why? My favorite contemporary poet, Stephen Dunn, references Wallace Stevens in several interviews. I decided it was time to go to the source.
Visit John Dalton's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Inverted Forest.

My Book, The Movie: The Inverted Forest.

--Marshal Zeringue