The passing of a Shroud of Turin novelist
Steve, we would like to read it, shortcomings and all: Suburban Journals | News | POKIN AROUND: The passing of my father; our bond as writers.
What I uniquely shared with my father is "The Shroud." I am the only person to have read his one and only opus. I first read it and typed it more than 10 years ago when it was a screenplay. He unsuccessfully tried to sell it and spent the next decade recasting it as a novel. He loved the work; it was his retirement hobby/job.
Since June I have been typing it for him. I am on page 167 of what appears to be 360 pages. I say "appears to be" because everything is handwritten and I’ve already come across an instance where he mislabeled the page count – going from page 137 back to page 132.
Dad did not use a computer. He used white-out. I can hold a page to the light and count 21 blotches of editing.
The novel is big, epic and traces the history of the Shroud of Turin, which some say is the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. Early on one of the main characters is Byzantine Emperor Romanus Lekapenos, a tough old bird with whom, I can tell, my father identified.
I marvel at the parts that are masterfully written. I shared my admiration with my father. But the book has its shortcomings. These, I did not share with him.
In the rush to the emergency room Monday my father, a man with few assets, scribbled a brief will. He wanted his three sons to share equally in any proceeds from the future publication of his literary efforts. I now know, as editor and typist, I had a deadline.
Steve, thanks for sharing your father with us.