September 12, 2011

David Homel’s ‘Mid-Way’

Have you ever felt a desire to walk away from your life? To simply step away from job, family and responsibilities?

David Homel’s new novel – Midway – tells the story of Ben Allan, a middle-aged college instructor who has recently won an award for an essay he wrote about an obscure medical syndrome. Dromomania primarily affected men in nineteenth-century Europe. The dromomaniac would leave his home without warning, wander across the continent in an almost zombie-like state, and wake up weeks later with no idea where he was and how he got there.

In the novel, the essay and its content forces Allan into a midlife crisis. He entertains the possibility of an affair with a young communications officer named Carla as his relationship with his wife deteriorates. He wants desperately to reach out to his television-addicted teenage son Tony, but doesn’t know how. And he is constantly trying to maintain a connection with his rapidly aging father, Morris.

With nothing in his life working out quite like it should, it makes sense that Allan feels compelled to walk away from it all…

Throughout the novel, Allan is literally stuck “mid-way” between the world he wants to live in and the one he feels he’s required to be a part of. It is very much a coming-of-age story spanning three generations and countless lives. Anyone who reads Midway will be able to easily relate to the characters in one way or another, and the novel is written in such a way that it will grab your attention and hold it until the final page.

A pic of David Homel...

Homel was born in Chicago in 1952. He lived in both Europe and Toronto before making Montreal his home around 1980. Midway is his sixth novel. He has also written two children’s books, one of which was co-authored with his wife. Homel has translated several French works that resulted in two Governor General’s Literary Awards for translation. He isn’t only a writer, but a journalist, filmmaker and translator, and he is one of nearly 40 writers that will be featured at THIN AIR 2011.

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