Sunday, August 25, 2013

James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke's latest novel is Light of the World.

From the author's Q & A with Sean Woods for Men's Journal:

What have you learned about the value of work?

I learned a lesson from my dad. He was a decent man who always wanted to be a journalist, but in 1925 he was very lucky to get a job out on the pipeline. He hated it, but the Depression came along, and if you had a job, you didn't quit. He used to come home every day and wash his hands over and over to get the oil off. He used to say, "Jim, don't work at a job you don't like." But he didn't have that choice. People compare our time today to the Depression. They don't have a clue.

How should a man handle his fears?

The bravest people I've ever known are so nondescript, you can't remember what they look like five minutes after they walk out of the room. Did you ever see the photo of the black children going to school in Little Rock in '57 who were attacked by the mob? It was disgusting. One white woman went out there swinging her purse, saying, "You cowards, you white trash, you make me ashamed to be a member of the white race." These big guys who were twisting the arms of children were just stunned. She showed them up in front of the entire world. It's always the people...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue