A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
When Michael Perry (Coup, Truck, and Population, 485) read from his books at Thomas Ford in spring of 2011, he also read from a work in progress. Visiting Tom is that work. Here are some thoughts about the new book.
Michael Perry is to Tom Hartwig, his octogerian neighbor, as we are to Michael Perry, the author and our guide to life in rural Wisconsin.
Perry observes Hartwig’s life as readers observe Perry’s life.
What Perry gains from his friendship is like what we gain from reading Visiting Tom. What the author deduces about Tom may not always be what Tom thinks or feels. Likewise, every reader will interpret Perry’s book in his or her own way.
Mostly Mike enjoys hanging out with Tom. I know I enjoy my time with the author and his observations. Like Tom, Mike is a storyteller who enjoys the telling.
While Visiting Tom is partly about Hartwig and partly about Perry and his family, the reading is also partly about us. How do we live our lives?
Enough said, except that I will try to spot a certain farm next time I drive the Interstate near Eau Claire.
Review by Rick