Alexander Blackburn was born in Durham, N.C., where his father was a teacher of writers at Duke University; among his students were such literary luminaries as William Styron, Mac Hyman, Reynolds Price, Anne Tyler and William deBuys. Blackburn has published two novels, a collection of essays, a study of the picaresque novel in Spain, France, England, Germany and America, a major critical study of Nobel-nominated southwestern novelist-philosopher Frank Waters and an autobiographical / biographical memoir. He has also published two ground-breaking anthologies of western fiction writers. Completed are two more novels, one about Los Alamos, another patterned after Colorado coal mining wars – The Door of the Sad People.
Blackburn is a graduate from Phillips Academy Andover, Yale University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and University of Cambridge, England (Ph.D. in English). He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife since 1975, Dr. Inés Dölz- Blackburn, Chilean- born author and professor of Spanish Language and Literature.
AGE OF ATOMS: The Trilogy
Age of Atoms, Alexander Blackburn’s trilogy of thematically linked novels, confronts stealthily
the horror of a Second World War Faustian Bargain. But the embrace of a diabolical environment
by a conscientious elite of scientists, soldiers, and politicians is made cold by its encounter with
increased and redemptive consciousness. Blackbum explores what Faulkner called “man’s
eternal dilemma,” the almost incomprehensible conflict of constructive and destructive forces, in
particular, when individuals everywhere are plagued by remembered violence and fear of more.
On the one hand, the Before, During, and After of atomic bombing, historically considered, does
reveal that a primal urge to exterminate peoples was, indeed, expanded to god-like potentials for
Earthly extinction. On the other hand, however, through a consummate literary craft of
implication, handsomely warm locutions, and prophetic dreaming of things to come, Blackbum
portrays a sanctuary of hope in diverse races, genders, ethnicities and occupations of North
Americans North, South, and West, joined by dramatic glimpses of English, Hungarian, Chilean
and Japanese characters, all against a background of wars and revolutions. Bringing to vivid
focus the darkness of human ways, Age of Atoms nonetheless illuminates, in spite of the
arrogance of solitude and nativism, the powers of love, sacrifice, and creative imagination that
are coming to prevail in a new world of light.
AGE OF ATOMS: THE TRILOGY
BOOK No. I The Door of the Sad People is based upon the Colorado coal-mining wars which culminated in the Ludlow Massacre of 1914. The Door of the Sad People focuses upon the lives of ordinary people –miners and their families, enslaved women, veterans of the Philippines War, tuberculosis victims –as viewed by “Tree,” a young westerner who has been violently banished from home after his father becomes entangled in the intrigues of a powerful New York financier. Part tragedy, part picaresque, “Sad People” explores the reality of working-class, mostly immigrant experiences like these come into conflict with the unrestrained powers of a ruling elite.
Sept. 6, 2021 ISBN# 9781943829286
442 pages, Hardback w/dustcover
BOOK No. II The Voice of the Children in the Apple Tree is the love story of “Trinc” DeRoman, a nurse emancipated from the control of wealthy New England aristocrats, and Aeneas Caldwell, an atomic physicist who has risen out of poverty in the South and West. Trinc’s devotion to healing people, as when she nurses interned Japanese Americans, and Aeneas’s self-sacrificing repudiation of the atomic bomb he has helped to build in New Mexico in 1945 represent old-fashioned American rectitude and hopefulness sheltering us against a darkening storm of nativistic, nuclear, and planetary terror.
Sept. 6, 2021 ISBN# 9781943829328
476 pages, Hardback w/dustcover
BOOK No. III Suddenly a Mortal Splendor is a beautiful, intelligent, and wonderfully crafted novel, a novel epic in its scope and landscape and imagination. What Alexander Blackburn has done here is nothing less than a miracle; in a time when contemporary novels are indistinguishable from daytime talks shows, he has given us a world resplendent with ideas and actions and blood and love and the land. This is an important book that will last.” — Bret Lott, novelist, story writer, author of the best-selling novel, Jewel, and formerly Director of The Southern Review
Sept. 6, 2021 ISBN# 9781943829309
304 pages, Hardback w/dustcover
The Cold War of Kitty Pentecost is set in the South in the 1960s, in the tradition of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet―star-crossed lovers doomed by separation during World War ll, by the dread of nuclear annihilation, and by generations of burdensome racism.
January 2017 ISBN# 9781943829071
300 pages, softcover
“There is in it an extreme and genuine romantic sensibility that is almost entirely missing in other contemporary writing. And Cold War reminds me – sadly – of how much we are missing now. There is in it discernibly the influence of Faulkner and even of Wolfe, but these voices are quite amiably absorbed. This is a tough, sweet, and classy book.” – Fred Chappell