Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ben H. Winters

Ben H. Winters is the author of eight novels, including most recently World of Trouble, the third novel in the Last Policeman Trilogy. Book two in the series, Countdown City, was an NPR Best Book of 2013 and the winner of the Philip K. Dick Award. Countdown City is the sequel to The Last Policeman, which was the recipient of the 2012 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America; it was also named one of the Best Books of 2012 by and Slate.

Not so long ago I asked Winters about what he was reading. His reply:
I had the good fortune of being sent an advance copy of Tim Johnston’s The Descent, which I bet everyone will be talking about next year. It’s about a teenage girl who is abducted, which makes it sound pulpy and lurid, but actually it is sophisticated and engaged and empathetic to all of its characters. It made me reflect on how important it is, even with the big trend of adults proudly reading YA, that we continue to have a true adult literature.

I’ve been binge reading Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins novels, which are the best kind of detective fiction. The cases are great, the characters are great, and together the books offer a deep ongoing critique of the world that we live in: of racism, classicism, sexism, violence.

Oh, and while I was on my book tour I read Megan Abbott’s The Fever. This is a crime novel, in a way, with a mystery and a (satisfying) solution, but it’s mostly about the inner lives of teenagers, particularly teenage girls, about their sexuality and anxiety, their alternating sense of power and powerlessness. It made me feel uneasy as a man, and worried as a parent of daughters. As a writer it made me feel like I could never have written it in a million years.
Visit the official Ben H. Winters website.

My Book, The Movie: The Last Policeman.

The Page 69 Test: The Last Policeman.

The Page 69 Test: Countdown City.

--Marshal Zeringue