Saturday, February 9, 2013

Phillip DePoy

Phillip DePoy is the author of a number of mysteries, including the Edgar Award winning play Easy. He has published short fiction, poetry, and criticism in Story, The Southern Poetry Review, Xanadu, and Yankee, among other magazines. As a folklorist, Depoy has worked with Joseph Campbell and John Burrison. He is currently the director of the theatre program at Clayton State University.

DePoy's Fever Devilin novels include The Drifter's Wheel, A Corpse’s Nightmare, and the newly released December's Thorn, the 7th of seven Fever Devilin novels.

Late last month I asked the author about what he was reading.  DePoy's reply:
I just finished reading David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas and would have to say it’s one of those books that’s so good it made me consider giving up writing and getting into chicken farming. The structure of the novel is astonishing in its sort of Russian Doll construction. The fact that he’s able to write so convincingly in such various styles—a diary, letters, a mystery novel, science fiction—and make them all contribute to a giant arc, it’s just baffling. Outside of John Fowles’s A Maggot, I can’t think of another book so capable of telling a huge story in such a completely new way, almost a new kind of fiction, or a new combination of old forms. So—coming soon on my website: fresh eggs!

For Christmas a friend of mine gave me Patti Smith’s book Just Kids, partly because he said it reminded him of my wife and me—in a good way. It’s not just autobiography, it’s a genuinely great love story. Her devotion to Mapplethorpe, and his to her, is a street-suss serenade, “you and me babe—how about it?” I’m in the middle of it now, and I’m enjoying it partly for its “portrait of the artist as a young waif” but mostly because it reminds me that any artist’s commitment to the work has to be fierce, all-encompassing, and, to a very large extent, misunderstood, under-appreciated, and poverty-inducing. It’s also nice to turn a page and discover that every single record they listened to in 1969 is a piece of vinyl that have on my own shelf, especially the particularly relevant and heartbreaking song by Tim Hardin, “How Can We Hang On to a Dream?”
Visit Phillip DePoy's website.

The Page 69 Test: December's Thorn.

My Book, The Movie: December's Thorn.

--Marshal Zeringue