Tom's guest this afternoon is the novelist Madison Smartt Bell. He is the author of more than 20 books, which include novels, short stories and works of non-fiction. In 1995 and 1996, his novel, All Soul’s Rising, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award. It won the Anisfield-Wolf award for the best book of the year dealing with matters of race. It’s the first of a three-part trilogy about Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Slave Uprising of the late 18th century.
Bell’s a professor of English and the co-director of the Kratz Center for Creative Writing at Goucher College. He calls his latest novel "a fever dream." Behind the Moon begins with a group of teenagers skipping school and heading to the desert for a camping trip. When one of them gets into an accident, it sets off a chain of events that brings together an absent mother, a young refugee, and a shaman, among others, for a story that delves into the complexities of family, the hardships of the outsider, and the power and possibility of the spirit world.
Madison Smartt Bell will be talking about Behind the Moon on Saturday, May 13 at the "Starts Here Series” held at Bird in Hand Bookstore, located at 11 East 33rd Street, Baltimore, MD 21218.
Today, the author joins Tom in the studio, and takes your calls, emails and tweets.