Men in Boats

Several weeks ago, my husband and I streamed Das Boot [The Boat], the fictional war epic about a German U-boat and its crew, written and directed in 1981 by Wolfgang Petersen. It was a riveting film, all 3 hours and 48 minutes of it: the claustrophobic submarine, the men crammed aboard, old veterans, untested newbies, the steely captain, the naive war correspondent—and then the Allied warships tracking it, their ominous sonar pings more dramatic than any Hollywood soundtrack.

That Thing Called Plot

Several years ago, I was on a panel of writers that included P. T. Deutermann, author of military thrillers and other equally well-received novels. Deutermann told the audience that he begins a novel on one computer file, but when he gets stuck, he starts a second file. Before he’s finished he may be shifting back…

Creative Space

“…there was, in the rear of the house, the most delightful little nook of a study that ever afforded its snug seclusion to a scholar….” Nathaniel Hawthorne, from “The Old Manse.” The study Hawthorne describes overlooks a splendid New England landscape of orchards, rolling fields and the Concord River. Two great writers found inspiration in this…

Farewell, My Darlings

“Kill Your Darlings, kill your darlings…” Stephen King On Writing   No writer likes rejection letters, particularly the impersonal ones. But even rejection plays a part in the success of what we do. Rejections can send us back to the manuscript, to reassess and, yes, to edit and rewrite. When Absolution was turned down by…

The Alchemy of Fiction

Was your husband in Vietnam? Have you ever been to Vietnam? Is Maggie’s story your story? Did you live in New York City? Boston?   These are questions I’ve been frequently asked since Absolution was published. And no, neither my husband nor I have ever been to Vietnam. Maggie’s story is not my story. She was…

Judy Goldman

“In this fierce and impressive debut, Miriam Herin asks us to open our eyes wide to the hopes, failure, compassion, and cruelty of life. Absolution ventures deep into the human psyche.  Remarkable in scope, the story takes us from Boston to Vietnam and back, a journey that is unsettling – at times, harrowing – but unquestionably spellbinding…

Dot Jackson

Among the thorny truths that haunt Miriam Herin’s gripping, all-too human novel, Absolution, is that no war is ever over when it’s ‘over.’ Time may heal wounds, but the shards of desperate acts remain invisibly imbedded. The scars that mar the prosperous, smooth-surfaced marriage of pretty do-gooder Maggie Delaney and her Vietnam vet-turned-lawyer husband, Richard, are…

Clyde Edgerton

“Absolution delicately and skillfully depicts an anguished clash between secrets and justice in the heart of Maggie Delaney, a grieving widow. In the process, it also casts a beguiling and suspenseful net back across five decades—dropping the reader into nightmarish battles in Vietnam and also into backrooms of the 60s U.S. peace movement. Miriam Herin…