Nicholson, David. Flying Home: Seven Stories of the Secret City. Arlington, VA: Paycock Press, 2015. 147 pp. $12.95 (paper).
Reviewed by Brian Gilmore
In the 1937 essay “Blueprint for Negro Writing,” Richard Wright wrote that “no theory of life can take the place of life.” It is, according to Wright, “the task of the writer to plant flesh upon those bones out of his will to live.” Considering Wright was writing what James Baldwin and others once deemed “protest literature” the effectiveness of his writing was rooted in his ability to make his characters come to life in a meaningful way.
Though Washington, D.C. writer David Nicholson did not choose Wright’s burden of making protest literature soar as art, Nicholson does take Wright’s words to heart in Flying Home: Seven Stories from the Secret City, his debut collection. Nicholson’s characters and their troubled, complex lives, become flesh and bones but also rich and meaningful. Many of us know characters like Tyson, the former Negro League ball player in Nicholson’s “Seasons.” Here, “flesh” does get placed “upon those bones” and what happens to Tyson becomes important—one of the key components of accessible storytelling. Continue reading this post…