Issue 164, Winter 2002-2003
Dear Sir or Madam:
I'm writing this letter to tell you some things you might not know about your writer-in-residence, Henry Marks. Some you may already know. If you've read Private George Johnson, his first novel, you know that Henry completed a tour of duty in Vietnam in November of '68. If you've read The Birder ( and I guess everyone has) you also know what happened to him at the end of his tour. You might get this information just as easily from his Collected Essays, especially "Stalking the Birder," his meditation on writing, guilt, and the war, published in 1990, a year that marked Henry's return to form after the brief embarrassment of The Accident in '88. Critics have attributed the failure of The Accident to carelessness; they said that Henry had become sloppy as a result of his success.
On bad days Henry tells me that The Accident was a sign, and that he's through with novels because he can't find a way to finish his work in progress: The Last Bastion. (He has written the f…