Saturday, August 1, 2015

Benjamin Johncock

Benjamin Johncock was born in England in 1978. His short stories have been published by The Fiction Desk and The Junket. He is the recipient of an Arts Council England grant and the American Literary Merit Award, and is a winner of Comma Press's National Short Story Day competition. He also writes for the Guardian. He lives in Norwich, England, with his wife, his daughter, and his son.

Johncock's newly released first novel is The Last Pilot.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
I just finished what is my book of 2015 so far: Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg. It’s a fictional reconstruction of the life of Mazie Philips, who grew up on New York’s Lower East Side during the Jazz Age. She worked the ticket booth of The Venice in the Bowery, and was well-known locally. When the Great Depression hit, it stirred something in her to help out the homeless men she encountered every day on the streets. It’s told in fictionalised diary entries and “interviews” with people who knew Mazie. It’s also a love-letter to New York as a city too. I tore through it. I first picked it up because Mazie reminded me a little of Pancho Barnes, who features in The Last Pilot - and for the fact that Pancho, like Mazie, was real. I also have a soft spot for fiction involving New York, the Prohibition, the Great Depression, the Jazz Age, movies, and bawdy, big-hearted women.
Visit Benjamin Johncock's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Last Pilot.

--Marshal Zeringue