Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Time For New Authors

If you look very closely you’ll notice that, here and there, some leaves are just beginning to turn. I was out on the Raquette River the last two weekends and a number of the maples had sprigs of red stretched out over the water. It wasn’t true of every tree I saw, just a few. We also commented on how the sun was not quiet as high in the sky as it was a few weeks ago. I’m sure we still have plenty of warm, sunny days left to enjoy. I also know that time keeps a’ moving. I’ve always viewed autumn as my favorite season. Unlike many other people who see Fall as the close of the year I see it as the culminating celebration of winter, spring and summer, the peak event of all the seasons. It is a riotous celebration of not only what has occurred but also where we are going. Autumn is the now of all the seasons. It, like no other season, points to what is essential to what is going on at this particular point in time. I also view autumn as the time to find new authors.

During the summer I’m happy to while away a few hours with some easy reading. But once the autumn arrives it is time to get serious. I’m guessing that it is a throw back to two strong instincts. The first is that we all had to return to school in the Fall. The second is that until recently all of my work life revolved around, and was dictated by, whatever season I found myself in. I always found autumn to be one of the most relentless of seasons. Things simply had to be accomplished by the time winter got here. There was no other acceptable solution because the inextirpable movement of the season dictated the work timeline. And who can argue with the North Wind?

Recently I have come across an author new to me. Henning Mankell is a Swedish writer best know to American and British readers for the Kurt Wallander investigation series. Wallander is a mid-forties, slightly overweight, recently divorced inspector in the Swedish Police Service. He also eats poorly, drinks a bit too much, is prone to sleeping in his clothes and ruminating on what he believes are his professional failures and personal short-coming. I came across Mankill’s creation while flipping about one recent Sunday night. After watching an episode of BBC Mystery, and getting three more via Netflix, I decided it was time to read.

Mankell has been writing and been published for a few decades. Millions of copies of his works have been sold in Europe. By anyone’s reckoning he is a successful writer. But he is new to me. I was also interested to find out that you can actually take any number of different Wallander tours in Ystad, the Swedish town where all his stories are located. You can visit his apartment address, eat at some of his favorite restaurants and drink in some of the bars he frequents. I also noticed that there are nine books in this particular series. And what is better than finding a new author? Why, finding one that has a lot of published material, of course. So, while you are whiling away and enjoying this last part of the summer you might want to think about casting a weather eye towards future and start looking around now for new books and new authors to keep yourself busy during the autumn and winter.

See you at the Library,

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