Walter Mosley turns his sharp eyes and ears to the cloudy sights and sounds of dementia
With an introduction from Haitian-born, bestselling, award-winning novelist Edwidge Danticat, bestselling, award-winning novelist Walter Mosley took the stage at the 2010 Miami book Fair International to introduce and read from his novel, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey (Riverhead; November, 2010), a novel blending literary fiction, mystery, and fantasy in a moving exploration of a 91-year old man (Ptolemy Grey) suffering from dementia. Reading a passage from the book, which has no chapters because, as Mosley said, 'dementia has no chapters,' Mosley weaved a phone call through a stream of news radio, ads and classical music in a small apartment of tattered furniture in disarray, followed by a knock at the door, arousing Ptolemy, and a visit from a suspicious visitor. Mosley then took questions from the audience on who he would cast to play Robyn Small if a movie were to be made of The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey; his own mother's dementia; advising parents on promoting good children's reading habits; his venture into comic books with Maximum Fantastic Four with Marvel Comics; his use of foul language in his novels; a book report; how he chooses character names; a man's tale of his own literary awakening after reading one of Mosley's novels; the lamentable lack of black male heroes in fiction, such as his character Socrates in Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned; his perspective on the affect of computers in fiction such as his latest release, When the Thrill Is Gone (Riverhead; March, 2011), featuring high-tech detective, Leonid McGill; and his comparison of Jack Kirby's work at DC vs. Marvel comics.
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