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Ron Childress biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Ron Childress

Ron Childress

Ron Childress Biography

Ron Childress was born in New York City and grew up in Connecticut and Florida. He spent portions of his life working as a gas station attendant and garage mechanic, a marine upholster, a college adjunct, an association publications editor, and a tech marketing firm VP. As a teenager he developed a fascination with the novel and read many of the writers one should at that age – Dostoyevsky, Kerouac, Vonnegut. At nineteen he enrolled in community college to study literature, earned a B.A., M.A., Ph.D., and won his university's best dissertation award for a study on Henry James. Along the way he was publishing short stories in offbeat magazines and counterculture journals. In the 2000s he began to concentrate on long fiction and completed four novel-length manuscripts before winning the 2014 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction for his fifth, And West is West, his first published novel. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, the artist Sondra N. Arkin.

Ron Childress's website

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Interview

Worlds Apart, an essay by Ron Childress about his novel And West is West

"East is East, and West is West, and never the two shall meet," wrote Rudyard Kipling to describe a nineteenth-century clash of cultures. When I began writing And West Is West at the beginning of the winter of 2010, America was experiencing a similar disconnect. The euphoria of the revolutionary '08 election was fading, and the recession was not letting up. We existed in what seemed a permanent state of military conflict. And so, fed by bad news and political expediency, the division between our cultures became a chasm.

Beyond it was the question of where the country was being led. The inherited wars and recession were not the president's doing, but his decision to rely on drone strikes, more than even the previous administration had, was chilling. And his employment of the same people involved in the financial meltdown to fix it was perplexing. Weren't drone strikes against alleged terrorists a renewal of America's old policy of foreign intervention through assassination? And why wasn't even one of the leaders of the banking institutions that had devastated the world's economy indicted? What was going on?

Finding no answers to these questions, I sought them out the way I usually do, through ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Ron Childress at BookBrowse
And West Is West jacket
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Ron Childress but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Sebastian Junger

    Sebastian Junger

    Sebastian Junger grew up in suburban Massachusetts and graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in cultural anthropology in 1984 and has been a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in such magazines as Outside... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    And West Is West

    Try:
    Tribe
    by Sebastian Junger

  • Phil Klay

    Phil Klay

    Phil Klay is a Dartmouth grad and a veteran of the US Marine Corps. He served in Iraq during the Surge and subsequently received an MFA from Hunter College, where he studied with Colum McCann and Peter Carey, and worked as ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    And West Is West

    Try:
    Redeployment
    by Phil Klay

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