In the 1960s, David Halperin was a teenage UFO investigator. Later he became a professor of religious studies his specialty, religious traditions of heavenly ascent. From 1976 through 2000, he taught Jewish history in the Religious Studies Department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Now retired from teaching, he lives in North Carolina with his wife Rose. Journal of a UFO Investigator is his first novel.
David Halperin's website
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A conversation with David Halperin about his first novel, Journal of a UFO Investigator
Most of this story's action takes place in two dimensions of time, in 1963 and 1966. How did you decide to write it in this way, and why did you choose these particular dates?
I began the book with a three-year time lapse between the writing of the journal and the events recorded in it, because I wanted to depict the excitement and possibility of early adolescence (the thirteen-year-old Danny Shapiro) through the eyes and with the voice of an older adolescent already living with a burden of failed dreams. Then the time lapse closes. The year is 1966; Danny no longer looks backward, but scribbles into his journal his current desperate hopes that his dreams of love, safety, and healing may still come true. Maybe it's not too late. Maybe there will be a happy ending after all.
I chose this time period partly because I was myself a teen UFOlogist in the early sixties. I can write what it felt like to be an adolescent in this era with the authenticity that comes from personal experience. The UFO world of the time is something I know from the inside.
But there's another reason. The time period of the book is framed by two historical events of ...
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