Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Thomas Perry

Thomas Perry's novels include the Jane Whitefield series (Vanishing Act, Dance for the Dead, Shadow Woman, The Face Changers, Blood Money, Runner, and Poison Flower), Death Benefits, and Pursuit, the first recipient of the Gumshoe Award for best novel.

His new novel, the eighth in the Jane Whitefield series, is A String of Beads.

Last month I asked the author about what he was reading. Perry's reply:
Yesterday afternoon I finished some very unusual reading. It was my proofreading of my wife, Jo Perry's, second novel. The first in the series, Dead is Better, will be published by Page Burner Press in January. The one I was reading is Dead is Best. I met Jo in 1975. We've worked in two universities together and then wrote prime-time network television together for eleven years, raised our two children to adulthood together, and spent nearly every day together. I should know every atom of the contents of her mind by now, but reading her books has reminded me that's not possible. The human mind is endlessly inventive, and contains universes of knowledge, impressions, images, and ideas. As I read, I can pick out places in the books that we visited together, but they're transformed by thought, feeling, and narrative purpose into other, fictional places. I can recognize in the narrator and his universe some attitudes and ideas that Jo has. But the narrator is a fat middle-aged dead male with a scathing sense of humor and a profane mouth, somebody as far from my small, graceful, beautiful wife as anyone could be. And yet the wisdom, the humor, the scary and suspenseful parts of the novel are all hers, and all fresh and unfamiliar to me. You would think that after thirty-five years you'd know somebody. But each time there's a new book, a new story unfolding, you meet the writer of that book for the first time.
Visit Thomas Perry's website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue