Attend the Light

Attend the Light

by Steven Donkin


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The summer of 1959: clashing ideologies and pivotal historical events define an America on the verge of social upheaval, and they all come together in the stories of ordinary people who find their intertwined lives affected in startling and dramatic ways by events around them. The country is in the midst of an international Cold War, while domestically longstanding racial tensions are broiling in concert with a burgeoning civil rights movement. At the center is Simon Flemsoe, a former Hollywood screenwriter who now lies dying in a South Carolina nursing home, mentally revisiting his past and longing to come to terms with his lifetime of dissatisfaction and outright failure, particularly regarding his relationship with his estranged family and his previous efforts to effect political change through the movies.
Meanwhile, Simon's daughter, Martha, is coping with the mysterious disappearance of her runaway daughter, missing this past year, and his son, Manfred, struggles to help his sister while putting his own family at risk by becoming involved in a union organizing effort. In Washington, D.C., Simon's radical former screenwriter friend, Gene Farnsworth, attempts to build a movement for civil rights among the locals while befriending a boy named Malcolm Peters, recently arrived with his family from rural Alabama, where they were sharecroppers on a cotton farm before fleeing their racist landlord following an incident that still haunts young Malcolm. Behind it all lurks the sinister figure of Carmine Massachetti, a former Communist who has become an FBI informant and is now involved in an elaborate plot to expose a group of underground Communists by deciphering the messages contained within a collection of enigmatic movie reels and a series of Italian short-wave radio broadcasts that allude to a mysterious "One-Dimensional Room."
As the lives of these and other individuals circle one another and eventually come together simultaneously with Simon's death, it becomes apparent that Simon himself, and in particular a fateful meeting he had with an Italian theoretical physicist named Savello ten years before, may be the keys to understanding how all the pieces connect. Through it all, the reader is transported on a journey that is sometimes frighteningly surreal and sometimes wildly humorous as the stories converge in a powerful climax.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781983467813
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 05/21/2018
Pages: 332
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Steven Donkin is the author of several novels and short stories, including "Honest Faces" and "The Skeleton Speaks."

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