Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Nancy Peacock

Nancy Peacock’s novel The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson was self-published in 2013, and in 2015 won First Place in the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book- Mainstream Fiction category. That same year the book was picked up by Atria Press, a division of Simon and Schuster. Peacock is the author of two earlier novels, Life Without Water (chosen as a New York Times Notable Book) and Home Across the Road, as well and the memoir and writing guide, A Broom of One’s Own: Words on Writing, Housecleaning and Life.

Recently I asked Peacock about what she was reading. Her reply:
I usually keep a memoir or novel going while also reading a nonfiction book.

Recently I finished Barefoot to Avalon, David Payne’s amazing memoir about his relationship to his brother, George A., and his relationship to his brother’s death. George A. died in a car crash while helping David move from Vermont to North Carolina.

I can’t give this book a glowing-enough review. The emotional work Payne had to have done in order to write the story is clearly phenomenal, and yet I never had the sense that the emotion was being held back, or would ever be wrapped in a neat little box. The prose is raw and rolling, and has an energy to it that was like being caught in an undertow. Payne works with time in the same way, deftly moving the reader forward and backward and into present time. I was changed by this book. At one point I had to stop reading so I could write in my journal about the story, and reflect on my own family life and my own childhood, and this is a strange thing to say, but I believe in that reflection I felt my spirit expand and grow more loving. A truly amazing piece of work.

The nonfiction book I just finished is The Fifties: A Woman’s Oral History by Brett Harvey. I was born in the fifties and as a child received a lot of subliminal, and not-so-subliminal messaging about what a girl-child could and could not grow up to be. And while the feminist movement and experience acquired has led me to do my own deconstructing of those messages, this book was a good, overall reminder of the limitations that were put on women during that time, where those limitations came from and how women survived. As an oral history, it’s laced with personal stories and insights. And even though I knew a lot of what I read, I also learned things I’d not known before. Lots of ground covered here. Well written, and well compiled.
Visit Nancy Peacock's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson.

The Page 69 Test: The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson.

--Marshal Zeringue