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James W. Huston

19381011_NYT_frontpage_Kristallnacht

Fast forward to 1938.  Many laws had been in place to oppress Jews since Hitler took over as Chancellor in 1933.  But it came to a head for the world to see in 1938. It became known as Kristallnacht, or the night of the broken glass.  A thousand Jewish synagogues and seven thousand shops were attacked, leaving broken glass in the streets.  But far worse, more than ninety Jews were murdered, and thirty thousand were arrested and put in concentration camps.

The world was outraged. The US recalled its ambassador, but did not break off relations with Germany.  Roosevelt also refused to ease the restrictions on Jewish immigration to the US.

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The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community

I first became acquainted with C.S. Lewis in college.  I was drawn to his lucidity and insight.  After reading a few of his books, I couldn’t get enough.  In my late college years and early twenties I set out to read everything he wrote.  I didn’t read his academic works on medieval literature, but did get through pretty much everything else, fiction and non-fiction alike.  Ever since then, I’ve been fascinated by Lewis and his writing.  I’ve even been to Oxford and to the Eagle and Child, the pub where C.S. Lewis would meet on Tuesdays with his friends and co-writers who came to be known as the Inklings.  I’ve often wondered what effect the other Inklings had on Lewis’s writing and thinking. 

 That question has now been answered.  In her book, The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community, Diane Glyer explores all their interactions, and all the implications.  The book was recommended to me by a student of Dr. Glyer’s at Azusa Pacific University.  I was enthusiastic, but began the book with some trepidation when I realized it was “academic” and had numerous footnotes.  The odds of a college professor writing a book with footnotes intended for the academic community that is insightful and is still readable and enjoyable was low.  But she has done it. 

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Facts of Fiction

Facts of Fiction

“How Do You Write?” (Listen for Yourself!)

Written by: James W. Huston Published: August 30, 2010

By far the most common question I get from people who are interested in my writing is: “How do you do it?”  Mechanically, how do you get the words onto a page that ultimately form a book?

I think they like to hear quirky stories about the writing process, like what George Will told me about how he writes his op/eds—longhand with a fountain pen.  Or like the novelist who writes an entire book longhand on yellow pads, gives them to a typist, and never looks at the book again (thankfully I forget which author it is who does that).  Or the author who uses a MANUAL typewriter, because he always has.

Frankly I don’t understand why anyone would use a manual typewriter for anything except a museum exhibit.  You occasionally hear that he started writing that way and that’s just how he does it.  I guess that makes some kind of sense, but I started writing with crayons.  I don’t think I’m stuck with them forever “because that’s how I started.”  My father, who has been writing books for sixty years, certainly started with a manual typewriter.  I watched him write many books on a manual typewriter.  But I also know that he just bought a new computer last week for his book writing.

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Facts of Fiction

Facts of Fiction

Wikileaks & Lawfare

Written by: James W. Huston Published: July 27, 2010

Wikileaks’ release of “over 75,000 secret military reports covering the war in Afghanistan” is being called one of the “biggest leaks in U.S. military history.”

It is also a prime example of Lawfare.

In my June 10, 2010, post, I wrote: (more…)

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Facts of Fiction

Facts of Fiction

Falcon Jet & the Falcon 7X

Written by: James W. Huston Published: June 29, 2010

I’ve done many book signings, from Seattle to Fort Lauderdale, but nothing like the book signing this week at the U.S. headquarters of Falcon Jet, in Teterboro, New Jersey. As you can see from the title, my latest novel—Falcon Seven—is named after an airplane. I know that’s unusual, but the Falcon 7X in my book plays a fairly important role.

I asked a friend of mine, who is the general counsel of Falcon Jet, if I could name the book after the airplane, and he was excited. Not only did he like the idea, but he arranged for the art department at St. Martin’s to have access to their images to pick the best image to use on the cover. And, he said Falcon Jet would love it if I visited Teterboro, toured the airplane, and did a signing for the Falcon Jet employees.

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The Blood Flag

The Blood Flag

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Falcon Seven

Falcon Seven

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