Research and Inspiration in The Center of Everything and

The Widow Nash

The Widow Nash opens in 1904, and while I wrote, I covered my office walls with images from the period, many of which turned up as chapter openers. They opened my imagination, goosed me through writer's block, and acted almost as epigraphs.

The Center of Everything, like The Widow Nash, is primarily set in Livingston, Montana. Dulcy's world, half-remembered but still affecting the events of 2002, surrounds Polly. Center's other world, the Long Island North Shore of 1968, is borrowed from my childhood. I would love to have a photograph of myself standing on a Sound beach, but so would Polly. 

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Livingston's McKim, Mead and White train depot, circa 1905

The 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps at Mammoth Terrace, Yellowstone Park, 1898

Le Souffriere erupts, Martinique, 1902

A Koloman Moser skeleton walks across a last Walton notebook, circa 1900

Carte de visite, circa 1900

The perennial issue of birth control; about 1900

Livingston, Montana, circa 1900; train depot at center

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