Dan Wakefield

Dateline: Wed 30 Nov 2011

has moved back home to Indianapolis from his Florida residence.

The author of "Going All the Way" is one of my favorites. His brilliant novel is not only a terrific coming-of-age story, but a wonderful indictment of Indianapolis back when men with beards were forbidden from swimming at the rich WASP country club, Jews and gentiles did not mix socially (but they did sexually, in his story) and Shortley High School (Shortridge) was "going dark inside," which prompots the youthful protagonist to wonder if his alma mater had an electricity problem. No, Sonny, it's ABOUT RACE.

I love the book, I love Wakefield for writing it, and I look forward to trying to guess which older white gentleman he is wandering around Downtown (where he's now living).

Welcome back, Wakefield.

Comments

George Stuteville [unverified] said:

Dan Wakefield....what a GREAT Hoosier writer.

I would love to meet him and talk someday. For some reason, and I can't remember exactly why, I associate him with the Red Key Tavern up around 56th and College. I used to go there after a shift on the night police beat.

Ruthie, for my money, as much as I liked Going All the Way, I think I like another of his novels, Under the Apple Tree, a bit better. The style in in reminds me of latter Sinclair Lewis.

Finally this...probably most of the readers here know there is a new biography of Kurt Vonnegut out...

http://www.npr.org/2011/11/19/142350679/kurt-vonnegut-was-not-a-happy-man-so-it-goes

2011-11-30 13:21:01

ruthholl [Member] said:

Several things, George: first, thanks for mentioning that other Wakefield novel, which I have not read (unless it is about degeneration, alcoholism and divorce -- one novel that I read dealt heavily with those themes). I am going to check out all his books. Did read also his book on spirituality, where he makes a decent argument that creativity and abuse of drugs/alcohol do not always go hand-in-hand.
Second, Red Key figures in Going All the Way. It is where Sonny and Gunner meet to suck down beers and drown misery. The book is so specific in terms of some Indy locations that I was able to find his boyhood home on Carvel (I think) as a result -- the Mt. Vernon style gave it away.
3rd, thank you for mentioning the biography of Vonnegut. I have Chris Buckley's review from NYT Sunday on my desk; gonna get to all that today. I had not heard/read NPR's, so this is bonus material.
Love to talk about books with you!

2011-12-01 06:31:49

George Stuteville [unverified] said:

Book talk is always good.

Watched a great documentary on PBS last night (possibly a rerun) about the decline of newspapers.

While the message was not much fun, it was cool to listen to a bunch of reporters and editors grouse on about the business and their own papers...reminded me so much of the newsroom chatter at The Star.

2011-12-01 09:35:49

cranky [unverified] said:

slight correction. I was living on Guilford when Mr. Wakefield's book on spiritually came out. If memory serves, I believe his childhood home was north of Kessler on Winthrop.
And, welcome back, Dan! I'm a huge fan!

2011-12-01 15:40:13

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Indiana's gain is some state's loss re: Mr. Wakefield. Maybe some smart university will snap him up as an adjunct lecturer. The possibilities: eager young students listening to this talented writer, suckign up all the knowledge and technique possible....wow.

Joy.

2011-12-04 10:28:37

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