The recommendation is six years old, from a print-out she took home with her during her 2012 residency in Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers. We six writers in June 2012 did a lot of sharing of our favorite books. Someone decided to type them up. Self took the list home, and promptly lost it. She found it again, just a month ago, stuck in the back of a drawer of her writing desk in Redwood City. There, on p. 3, were two books by Tim O’Brien: The Things They Carried and In the Lake of the Woods.
Self began with The Things They Carried. She read it decades ago, taught it to classes. It’s held up. She liked most of the stories.
She decided not to do too much advance research on In the Lake of the Woods. She assumed it was another book about Vietnam.
She loves that O’Brien begins with descriptions of the lake. The lake is in his short stories, too — there is such a lyricism to his descriptions of it. She loves that In the Lake of the Woods is about a wounded candidate, a man who’s lost an election by a landslide.
Also, she loves (so far) the mystery.
- Anthony L. (Tony) Carbo: Show me a politician, I’ll show you an unhappy childhood.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.
4 responses to “Beginning IN THE LAKE OF THE WOODS, by Tim O’Brien”
You might also enjoy reading any of James Webb’s books. Fields of Fire is his first one and it is a good read.
I’m looking him up. I’m getting a little impatient with the backstory of In the Lake of the Woods because I’ve been there too many times in my reading: mysterious disappearance, then backstory. But I will definitely give James Webb a try.
He is an interesting guy—Naval Academy graduate, USMC, former Secretary of the Navy under Reagan.
I will take your word for it and check out his book(s). Thank you for the recommendation.
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