Columbus: John Benditt's "The Boatmaker" (Tin House)
Join us on Thursday, February 19th, at 7pm for the launch of John Benditt's debut novel, The Boatmaker, published by Tin House. Benditt will be interviewed by Cary Barbor.
A fierce, complicated, silent man wakes from a fever dream compelled to build a boat and sail away from the small island where he was born. The boat carries him to the next, bigger, island, where he becomes locked in a drunken and violent affair whose explosion propels him all the way to the mainland. There he works as a carpenter, struggles to stay sober, and attempts to understand the intricacies of a larger society and its dark underworld. After he is beaten and left for dead by two men he considered his friends, he is taken in by a charismatic priest whose mission is to cleanse the mainland of the corruption and impurities brought on by the current king. As the boatmaker’s journey takes him deeper into the layers of racial and religious hatred, he uncovers truths that allow him to redirect the course of his destiny.
Part fable, part allegory, The Boatmaker is a haunting and passionate story of love and the voyage of self-discovery. John Benditt’s debut novel will appeal to readers of Tinkers and The Plover.
John Benditt has had a distinguished career as a science journalist, culminating in being the editor in chief of Technology Review: MIT’s Magazine of Innovation, after stints at Scientific American and Science magazine. As an undergraduate at Swarthmore he was awarded the John Russell Hayes Poetry Prize by Robert Creeley and studied with Adrienne Rich. Over time the emphasis of his writing has shifted from poetry to prose-poetry and finally to fiction. The Boatmaker is his debut novel.
Cary Barbor is the host and producer of the literary podcast Books and Authors, which features intelligent, candid conversations with authors of new fiction and nonfiction. She has worked as a producer on WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show and Studio 360, as well as on Sirius XM satellite radio. A longtime Upper West Sider, she has written for New York, Salon, Huffington Post, and others. She has an M.A. in literature from the University of Massachusetts. Subscribe to Books and Authors on iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud, and follow Cary on Twitter @bksandauthors.