The characters in FLYING HOME live in the real Washington, D.C., worlds away from the heroic statues, the white marble monuments, and the broad, tree-lined avenues. They are ordinary working men and women maids, taxi drivers, janitors, barbers, and handymen. Theirs is a city of neighborhoods and back-porch summer nights, a city where men swap lies in barber shops, toasts are proclaimed on street corners, and fathers struggle to teach their children right from wrong. It's a city beset by change. And, in remembering it, David Nicholson has taken to heart what novelist Harper Lee said of her hometown: I believe there is something universal in this little world, something decent to be said for it, and something to lament in its passing. David Nicholson, like his literary ancestors Ralph Ellison, James Alan McPherson, and Bernard Malamud, illuminates the mythic in the everyday lives of Americans whose stories are all too rarely deemed worthy of art. The peach tree in an old woman s yard in urban Washington glows with nearly magical fruit that tempts a young man to a betrayal he knows will rot his soul. A chorus of middle-aged black men in a barber shop hold a symposium on the nature of love. James Brown and Jimi Hendrix walk Nicholson s streets, but so, too, do anonymous heroes such as a black handyman who once pitched to Babe Ruth, a janitor struggling to maintain his dignity despite financial reverses, a disheveled beggar woman whose mere survival strikes us as a miracle. In Flying Home, David Nicholson shines his compassion and wisdom on them all. --Eileen Pollack, author of In the Mouth and Breaking and Entering
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About the Author
A former editor and book reviewer for The Washington Post Book World, David Nicholson was the founding editor of the magazine Black Film Review. He has worked as a journalist for the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News and the San Francisco and Milwaukee bureaus of the Associated Press. He lives in Vienna, Va., where he is at work on a biography of A.M.E. Bishop William David Chappelle and a family history/memoir, The Simonses of S Street: The Story of an American Family.