October 31, 2016 - Are there any reading groups out there? Fiction? Science-Fiction? Travel? I will provide up to 10 copies of The Appalachian, Life in Continuum, or Notes from the Field to the first reading group of each genre to get in touch, in exchange for reviews on Amazon.
October 6, 2016 - A second edition of Notes from the Field, with improved maps and updated cover art, is now available.
June 24, 2016 - Field Notes have begun. See Travels page.
June 2016 - Robinson departs for France at the end of this month for a re-hike of the Alps and a reconnection with Hannibal.
May 19, 2016 - Notes from the Field is live on Amazon.com!
April 2016 - Work on Notes from the Field is complete. Look for it in bookstores or on Amazon soon.
Jan 2016 - Robinson is at work on his next book, Notes From the Field: A diary of Journeys Near and Far.
Dec 2015 - The Appalachian has been named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2015!
Copyright 2016 by Kirk Ward Robinson
Robinson, Kirk Ward
BookSurge (274 pp.)
August 3, 2009
Anguished people hit the road in this dazzling pair of novellas.
The search for freedom from imprisoning realities animates both of these stories. In “Anwar,” Gill
Taylor—a successful Washington, D.C., accountant with a past as a neighborhood activist—is poised to run for Congress. His idealism runs smack into the realities of retail politics, consisting of insidious pressures to sell out his friends and his principles. Gill recoils at the betrayals demanded of him, but his ambitious, cunning wife Laura revels in such games. She thinks a little moral compromise is a small price to pay for power. Fleeing his world of backslapping treachery, Gill lights out on a whim for that symbol of embattled purity, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. There, he faces more clear-cut perils—cold, fog, bears—in the struggle for survival. Robinson subtly renders the small, incessant corruptions of Beltway society, which, for all its civility, is as ruthless as the harsh Alaska frontier.
In “The Trace,” 47-year-old Houston web designer Charles Winston finds his life physically constrained by a creeping paralysis, and prevails on his devastated mother Ermine to take him out for a trip along the scenic Natchez Trail parkway to her Tennessee hometown. The story is on one level a tragedy of failed adulthood— as Charles’s condition worsens, he regresses to a second infancy in which Ermine must bathe and diaper him. But the mood is one of reflection and familial love. Mother and son work through the many disappointments and hardships that blighted their past, and Charles loses himself in reveries about the simple pleasures of nature and movement. The result is a moving drama that manages to wring solace from heartache.
In both these sagas, Robinson writes with a wonderful feel for character and setting. His supple prose mixes nuanced psychological realism with hauntingly evoked landscapes that lend his tales a mythic resonance.
A fine work of debut fiction by a talented writer.