Friday, September 10, 2010

Berkeley Heights in Literary News?

I know, that was my reaction too. (Free Acres was a literary hotbed what with MacKinlay Kantor and Thorne Smith, but that was over 50 years ago.) Anyway, yesterday I opened the Star-Ledger and read on the front page of the New Jersey section:
"To Finish His Journey, Author Returns to New Jersey":
Author P.F. Kluge’s life has been a global travelogue, taking him far from his childhood home in Berkeley Heights . . .

Not only is P.F. Kluge from Berkeley Heights, but parts of his latest novel, A Call From Jersey, take place in and around Berkeley Heights. A Call From Jersey begins with a German steel worker named Hans, joining his brother Heinz, an inveterate gambler, in New York in the late 1920s. Not too much later Hans tags along with Heinz on a visit to Madame Bey's training camp for boxers in Chatham, watching Max Schmeling prepare for his match with Jack Sharkey. (The road in the following passage is River Road, the valley the land that slopes down to the Passaic.)

I heard a last car pulling out of the orchard, onto the road that led out of the valley where the training camp was located, already falling into darkness, while the sun just caught the top of the trees, beech and oak and maple. This was the first I'd seen of the country outside New York. It was different from Germany, where every inch of ground, field, forest was spoken for. America was untended. Uncared for. The woods were full of fallen trees and branches that no one collected, all that firewood going to waste. I liked it in New Jersey. But not Heinz. He reminded me of how someone sits next to a car that's broken down, waiting for the mechanic to come.
P.F. Kluge will read from A Call From Jersey and from Eddie and the Cruisers on Thursday, September 30 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Berkeley Heights Public Library. Feel free to bring questions and a copy of one of his books if you'd like one signed.

No comments: