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The Past Is Never Dead
     

The Past Is Never Dead

by David Schulman
 
Middle-aged shrink David “Gritz” Goldberg is enjoying lunch one day when he receives a message to hurry to the historic Battery Park Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina, where an unidentified man is preparing to leap to his death.

The predicament, as it turns out, is both more and less dire than it first appears. The man has no intention of

Overview

Middle-aged shrink David “Gritz” Goldberg is enjoying lunch one day when he receives a message to hurry to the historic Battery Park Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina, where an unidentified man is preparing to leap to his death.

The predicament, as it turns out, is both more and less dire than it first appears. The man has no intention of jumping. He is T Royal, Gritz’s childhood caretaker, back in Asheville after a long absence to live out his retirement. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, since his return, T has been plagued by the ghost of Mordecai Moore, a young black man put to death sixty-five years earlier for a murder he didn’t commit.

In 1939, a girl was killed at the hotel just prior to President Franklin Roosevelt’s visit to Asheville during a Southern campaign swing. T was with Moore that night and knew he didn’t do it but couldn’t testify because of the racial climate of the time.

Working from the same office where Zelda Fitzgerald once shared secrets with her own psychiatrist, Gritz and T form an unlikely duo. They stumble across dirty history involving members of Gritz’s own synagogue, as well as locals connected to Willard Dudley Paully, the head of a group of Nazi sympathizers known as the Silver Shirts. Eventually, Gritz finds himself set up to take a murder rap. That is, until the mystery leads him to a corrupt senator, a red hot shiksa nurse, a séance led by a massage therapist, a mute old lady with computer skills, and a local salvage company that may have changed the course of world history.

The Past is Never Dead introduces a reluctant, quirky sleuth unlike any other. Readers will enjoy searching out the real-life parallels in Asheville, a town equal parts historic and New Age.

Editorial Reviews

Hunter Morgan
“A remarkable book. The color of the South has never been spun from a more refreshing perspective. I hope to see a lot more of Schulman and Gritz.”
Randy Russell
“The Past is Never Dead is Schulman’s deft story of a ‘gritsy’ Jewish psychiatrist with a sixty-five-year-old murder on his couch. Cultural conflicts and racial tension of Southern Appalachia in the 1930s paint the background of this startingly fresh first novel. All I can say is, if you don’t read this book you need your head examined.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780895874672
Publisher:
Blair, John F. Publisher
Publication date:
10/01/2004
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
File size:
827 KB

Meet the Author

“When I was in retailing for a third of my life, I was known as the ‘Bearded Wonder’ for my advertisements, bringing the public exceptional deals on men’s and women’s clothing and Reeboks while having fun doing so. As a writer, I wish to bring to the reader meaningful ways of looking at the world in a playful manner, a sort of Bearded Wonder honoring both history and its folly, tackling the issues both seriously and with irreverence.”
—David Schulman

David Schulman wrote his first book at the age of seven. The book, Blind Justice, was about a group of animals that lived in Animal Town. He describes it as a story of the real world, of the good asses versus the bad asses. However, he put his writing aside as he grew into an adult. Schulman owned David’s Stores and Boo Boo’s Outlets from 1971 until 1991. After selling his small chain of retail stores in western North Carolina, he graduated from the University of Iowa in 1999 with a BA in liberal studies and became a full-time freelance writer. He has won the North Carolina Press Club’s Best Personal Columnist of the Year Award twice and is a frequent contributor to Our State magazine. Schulman has also served on the Asheville Citizen-Times advisory editorial board as well as the paper’s President’s Circle. His short fiction won an award from Creative Loafing in 2002. He lives in Asheville with his wife, Denissa, and has two children.

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