Tuesday, April 5, 2011

John Darnton's "Almost a Family"

John Darnton is an award-winning journalist and best-selling novelist. He worked for forty years for The New York Times as a reporter, foreign correspondent and editor. He won two George Polk Awards and the Pulitzer Prize. He has written five novels: Neanderthal, The Experiment (both on the NYTimes best-seller list), Mind Catcher, The Darwin Conspiracy and Black and White and Dead All Over.

He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, Almost a Family: A Memoir, and reported the following:
I've done this page 99 test before and now that I do it again, Ford Madox Ford was on to something. This time, in dipping into my new memoir, Almost a Family, I find a description of my life as a young boy in Westport, Connecticut, where I experienced "a time of consummate freedom." The passage talks about playing soldier out of doors, sleeping in the woods on sultry summer nights, making "Indian" fires to cook slabs of bacon in the winter, shoveling snow on frozen ponds to skate, and so on. I recalled getting a present of an English racing bike -- jumping on it, speeding rapidly for miles on end. Then comes a hint of trouble ahead: "Much of the exhilaration came from leaving the world behind me, from flight. But flight from what?"
Learn more about the author and his work at John Darnton's website.

The Page 99 Test: Black and White and Dead All Over.

--Marshal Zeringue