How did you come to write The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint? Was there a specific event that inspired you to write a book about a mailman running over the head of a young boy?Read the complete interview.
My wife's ex-boyfriend was actually run over by a mail truck, just like Edgar in the book. This guy was dating my wife at the same time I was dating her (unbeknownst to me) and when she finally fessed up about it, I demanded to know all about this bastard. Among other things, she told me that in his youth he'd been run over by a mailman and was so badly injured that he was presumed dead. It turned out that he survived and went on to become my rival for my future-wife's affections. Anyway, after my wife's confession, I went out to find this guy—not to beat him up, but to verify his story. I found him at his apartment and he very graciously told me everything. He told me there was one thing he wanted to do in this life: find the mailman and tell him that he was okay, that he had lived a healthy, normal life. I jotted it all down in a notebook while he talked, knowing I'd write a book about it some day.
Have you received any reaction from the Native American community in response to the way reservation life and the Willie Sherman school are represented in the book?
The only responses I've gotten from Native Americans have been good ones. It seems that only educated white folks object to the portrayal of the reservation and the school. Most Native Americans are quite aware of the extreme poverty and destitution that can be found in reservations all over this country.