3,11.19: The Strange and True Tale named a finalist in the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award in the historical fiction category.
1.13.19: My appreciation of Norman Maclean's classic Young Men and Fire, with thoughts on restraint in nonfiction, at Brevity.
12.30.18: "The Consequences of Pain Relief, Then and Now": Hartford Magazine republishes the essay that first appeared at The Millions – but with much better photography.
10.30.18: "Pain relief then, as now with prescription opioids, promised miracles—until unforeseen complications arose. ... Wells could rightly be called the Patron Saint of America’s Opioid Crisis." My article at The Millions.
10.26.18: The literary journal, jmww, calls The Strange and True Tale a novel "worth reading for its poetry, its structure that floats and fades and reforms and dissolves, and for its willingness to allow realism and ambiguity of character, as much a part of life as pain, to discomfort its readers and, by doing so, make life a little sharper, a little fuller." Read the full review here.
9.27.18: A night of two surgeons: Horace Wells and The Butt God of Miami Beach. Listen to the podcast recently published by The Enoch Pratt Free Library and featuring reading and conversation with me and Paul Goldberg, author of The Chateau.
9.19.18: P.J. O'Rourke's magazine, American Spectator, excerpts a few pages from The Strange and True Tale for its issue on health care.
7.26.18: "Downs tells a fascinating story in skilled, often elegant prose, and he treats all his characters with great sympathy." The Los Angeles Review of Books considers The Strange and True Tale and deems it "hypnotic" and "a meditation on pain."
6.11.18: "Wells is an odd, obsessive man, and Downs does an excellent job capturing his weirdness." The Missoulian newspaper offers its take on The Strange and True Tale.
5.22.18: The premier of The Strange and True Tale's book trailer! Watch this short film, made by the talented David Grossbach. It might be the best three minutes you'll spend today.
5.16.18: Spoiler alert! Sort of. American Short Fiction published an alternate ending for The Strange and True Tale as part of its Editorial Outtakes feature. This is an ending Michael wrote for the novel, then cut and replaced with the book's published ending.
5.3.18: Michael chatted with Marion Winik, the amazing author of The Glen Rock Book of the Dead and other books, about The Strange and True Tale. Their conversation can be found at Baltimore Fishbowl, once you scroll past the white space.
5.2.18: Michael talks with Sheilah Kast of WYPR in Baltimore about The Strange and True Tale. Their conversation begins at the 12:50 minute mark of the downloadable podcast.
10.6.19: "Lost in a Laughing Gas World: The Life of Horace Wells in Fact and Fiction," for the Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation. Keeney Memorial Cultural Center, 200 Main St., Wethersfield, CT. 2 p.m. Tickets $12 for members, $15 for nonmembers; admission includes a copy of the novel.
11.2.19: Louisiana Book Festival, Baton Rouge. Event and time to be announced.
11.16.19: Baltimore Writers' Conference, Towson University.
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