Friday, October 2, 2015

Jonathan Weisman

Jonathan Weisman is a Washington-based economic policy reporter for the New York Times.

His new novel is No. 4 Imperial Lane.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Weisman's reply:
So much of what I read these days seems linked to what I am struggling to write. My new novel-in-process is about two young missionaries working to record and preserve the language of a dying tribe of former headhunters in the Philippines, swept up by war and the swirl of geopolitical forces that are too big for them to comprehend. I read Euphoria by Lily King to get me into an anthropological state of mind. Now I am trying to better understand the religious fervor of a true-believing Christian imbued with a Christ-like sense of sacrifice. I am determined to keep my protagonist sympathetic, and not a caricature of a religious nut.

To that end, I am reading Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. That might sound like an unlikely choice, but Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a devout Christian theologian and clergyman in Nazi Germany who stood up for the Jews, tried in vain to keep the church pure as National Socialism wedged into every aspect of German life, plotted to assassinate Hitler, and was ultimately executed by the Nazis for his sins. He never wavered in his faith, nor did he ever fear for his safety. What better place to look for inspiration?

For a little relief, I'm also reading Aquarium by David Vann just for the soulfulness of his little girl protagonist and the heartfelt sadness of her story.
Follow Jonathan Weisman on Twitter.

My Book, The Movie: No. 4 Imperial Lane.

--Marshal Zeringue