Thursday, June 8, 2017

Mark Powell

Mark Powell is the author of four previous novels, including The Sheltering. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, and in 2014 was a Fulbright Fellow to Slovakia. In 2009, he received the Chaffin Award for contributions to Appalachian literature. He holds degrees from Yale Divinity School, the University of South Carolina, and The Citadel.

Powell lives in the mountains of North Carolina, where he teaches at Appalachian State University.

His new novel is Small Treasons.

Recently I asked Powell about what he was reading. His reply:
I always seem to be reading too many books, piling them on the nightstand or the floor, forgetting one, picking it back up. My side of the bed is my wife’s waking nightmare.

Right now, I’m finishing up a novel set primarily in Eastern Europe so a lot of what I’m reading is background on the region. Anne Applebaum’s Iron Curtain, Peter Conradi’s Who Lost Russia?, Tim Judah’s In Wartime: Stories from Ukraine, Misha Glenny’s giant history of the Balkans titled—wait for it—The Balkans.

I’m also rereading Denis Johnson. Along with Robert Stone, no one’s work has meant more to me not only as a writer but as a struggling, often-disbelieving religious believer. My favorites—though it’s akin to picking a favorite child—are Resuscitation of a Hanged Man and The Name of the World.

Two more recent reads, one old and one new: Shirley Hazzard’s The Transit of Venus is a nineteenth century novel (in the best sense) written in the twentieth century—a gorgeous book. David Joy’s The Weight of This World is a book both brutal and tender—what more could you ask for than that?

I’m also in a long-standing tussle with John Caputo’s The Weakness of God.
Learn more about Small Treasons.

The Page 69 Test: The Sheltering.

My Book, The Movie: The Sheltering.

--Marshal Zeringue