Sunday, September 16, 2018

David Sosnowski

David Sosnowski has worked as a gag writer, fireworks salesman, telephone pollster, university writing instructor, and environmental-protection specialist while living in places as different as Washington, DC; Detroit, Michigan; and Fairbanks, Alaska. His books include the critically acclaimed novels Rapture and Vamped.

Sosnowski's new novel is Happy Doomsday.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
What is David Sosnowski reading? An even split of male and female authors of fiction and non-fiction, it seems. Specifically, and in no particular order:

The Overstory by Richard Powers: While reading this powerful novel I kept thinking of the Lorax saying, “I speak for the trees…” That’s exactly what this book does: It speaks for the trees, as well as generations of humans who have taken these slower-paced beings into their hearts. Recent research has shown that trees have the ability to communicate over long distances, can warn of threats and defend themselves – behavior previously thought reserved for fauna, not flora. Powers uses these emerging truths and treats everything from the American chestnut to banyan trees to the mighty redwoods like characters on an equal (and often superior) footing than his human characters. It might sound silly but is indeed masterful and I guarantee you’ll never look at trees the same way again.

The Death of Truth by Michiko Kakutani: This is one of those books I read just to not feel like I was losing my mind. Having gone to grad school at a time when literary deconstruction and Jacques Derrida were all the rage, I often found myself thinking that tinkering with the whole concept of objective meaning like that would certainly make life easier for propagandists. I therefore found myself nodding in agreement when Kakutani’s traced the MAGA world of alternative facts back to those thesis-generating/meaning-destroying acts of intellectual onanism.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah: I read this novel mainly because it was set in Alaska and I wanted to see how Hannah’s portrayal matched up to my own recollection from when I attended the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. I thought Hannah did a good job of capturing the mind-set of the place and her treatment of Fairbanks as relatively cosmopolitan compared to where most of the action is set reminded me of what folks in Fairbanks used to say about Anchorage: “It’s a lovely community just off the coast of Alaska.” Gotta love that frontier snobbery.

Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece by Michael Benson: Okay, I’m a sucker for 2001, having seen it for the first time on the big screen at the formative age of 9 – and then maybe a dozen more times after that. I read this because it seemed a nice way to celebrate the film’s 50th anniversary. It started a bit slow but once Clarke and Kubrick met in its pages, my interest was hooked.
Visit David Sosnowski's website.

My Book, The Movie: Happy Doomsday.

The Page 69 Test: Happy Doomsday.

--Marshal Zeringue