Friday, April 22, 2016

Leila Meacham

Leila Meacham is a writer and former teacher who lives in San Antonio, Texas. She is the author of the bestselling novels Roses and Tumbleweeds.

Her new novel is Titans.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Meacham's reply:
Oh, that there was more time to read other authors’ works! Alas, most of my reading material pertains to research for my writing projects, always in progress, and of absolutely no interest to the readers of your excellent blog but perhaps for its incorporation into the stories of my novels. However, I’ve managed to work a few memorable works of fiction into my reading schedule, the latest tome being All the Light We Cannot See, written by Anthony Doerr, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer award. It is a story of a blind French girl, Marie-Laure, and a German boy, Werner, whose lives intertwine during the Nazi Occupation of France. Werner eventually ends up in the intelligence arm of the German army as a tracker of illegal radio transmissions, Marie-Laure as one of the clandestine transmitters of these broadcasts. I was more taken with the literary excellence of the novel—the author’s total command of the elements of fiction—than I was of the story itself. I thought it enormously dark and depressing as most tales of war and Nazi depravity usually are, and even ponderously technical at times, but beautifully rendered, haunting and powerful. Several lines eternal to human contemplation down through the ages are spoken by the characters. “Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever,” one advises and another questions, “Don’t you want to be alive before you die?” The responses to these utterances seem to be the threads that bind the narrative together. The result is that Mr. Doerr weaves, in my humble opinion but obviously shared with others of greater esteem, a brilliant tapestry of human nature at its best and worst and leaves the world a work of literary genius.

In addition, I’m looking forward to delving once again into two of Elswyth Thane’s superb novels of the 1940’s: By Dawn’s Early Light and Yankee Stranger. They are of her Williamsburg Series cast against the backgrounds of the American Revolution and the Civil War. These historical classics are to be re-released by Chicago Review Press, and I am honored to have been asked to contribute the forewords.
Visit Leila Meacham's website.

The Page 69 Test: Roses.

The Page 69 Test: Titans.

My Book, The Movie: Titans.

--Marshal Zeringue