With the Flatlanders in New York playing Carnegie Hall this week, I thought I’d share what Jimmie Dale Gilmore said about my book. I’ve known Jimmie for many years, but it was still a surprise to get a call from him about my book. To be honest, that’s about as good as it gets. If you’re in NYC on April 13th, his show is not to be missed.
“When we first meet Chuck Morgan, the main character in Robert Steven Williams’ new novel, My Year as a Clown, he’s broken, twisted and confused. And that’s what makes him so interesting. Like other intriguing literary heroes, Chuck is at his best after life has knocked him to the ground, forcing him to find a new way to be strong again; damaged maybe, but more confident this time, with a kinder, more open heart.” – Jimmie Dale Gilmore, singer, songwriter, guitarist, member of the Flatlanders
Scott and Zelda zooming off from their 1920 summer home in Westport, CT.
In 1920, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda summered in Westport. During their four month stay, The Great Gatsby was conceived, inspired by the locals, the mansions and the town.
The Great Gatsby: Westport, Connecticut tells the story of why some believe Westport was the source of much of what Fitzgerald conceived for one of America’s greatest novels.
For the past week or so I’ve been assembling a team to help make this documentary. I’m working with Richard ‘Deej’ Webb, the head of New Canaan’s High School history department, a Staples grad and committed Fitzgerald addict. Yesterday, we went to professor Orin Grossman’s house, of Fairfield University to talk music. He’s an expert on that era and an accomplished pianist. The professor is a confessed Gershwin fanatic. I’m looking for the songs and recordings that Scott and Zelda would have listened to while they were in Westport at that time.
Keir Dullea will narrate our film. Many other Westporters are making contributions and the project is for the Westport Historical Society. We’ve already raised half the money needed to complete the project and soon, we’ll be launching a Kickstarter Campaign for the rest.
We’ve already raised half the money to complete this film. Look for a Kickstarter campaign to appear shortly to help out.
A homeless man was living in my backyard brush. Someone spotted him and the cops came and moved him along. The man was wearing khakis and used a camouflage tarp to keep out of sight. He’d set up camp and had been there several weeks.
The guy hadn’t bothered anyone, nor had he broken into nearby homes. He must possess impressive survival skills because the weather has been miserable–which is one reason why I hadn’t noticed him back there.
After he’d been reported, it still took the cops awhile to find him, he was that well concealed.
During a week that we saw yet another record for the Dow Industrials, there seems to be a widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. Many cities are in collapse, education is a shambles in neighboring Bridgeport, Waterbury, Hartford and New Haven. One could say many of the have-nots are down to their last not.
My backyard homeless man may be anecdotal, but for millions, times are still tough, for some, much worse.
Here’s what the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, novelist and screenwriter, Suzan-Lori Parks said about My Year as a Clown:
Robert Steven Williams has written a terrific novel. His book pulls back the curtain on male masculinity — showing us what a guy really goes through when dealing with the difficult mess of his beloved spouse’s infidelity and the ensuing divorce. Williams’ characters give us the real-deal: a gut wrenching and often humorous look, showing us the everyday horrors of what it’s like to start all over again as one approaches middle age.”
As you can imagine, I was overwhelmed by this support for my work from such an immensely talented writer as Suzan-Lori Parks. Her plays are riveting and get under your skin in the most profound ways. She’s an important American writer and I have no doubt that in a hundred years, her work will still be as vibrant and provocative as it is today.
Many thanks SLP!