Talking 'Twentieth Century' with Local Author

Watertown author Jan David Blais will be appearing at the central branch of the Somerville Public Library (79 Highland Ave.) this Thursday (May 23) from 6 to 8 p.m. to discuss his tome "Twentieth Century Limited." Lovers of historical fiction,  war novels, journalism, and politics, take note! And, if all this wasn't enough, it's a bit of a mystery as well... follow main character Paul Bernard during his time fighting in the Vietnam War, his work as a reporter, and his criticism of  George W. Bush.   An excerpt from the book: "Paul Bernard reporting from lower Manhattan, September 11, 2001. In my earpiece information was straggling in. There was talk of hijackings, a terrorist attack. I thought again of bin Laden, of our missed opportunities. A few minutes later, a plane reported crashed into the Pentagon, fires raging. What other scenes of devastation, I wondered. No mention, but buildings all over are being evacuated. The White House, U.N. headquarters, Sears Tower. U.S. airspace is shut down. Has anyone claimed responsibility? What’s happening with our air defense? Where is George Bush and what is he doing? At 9:59 the screams begin. “The building’s coming down!” “THE BUILDING’S COMING DOWN!!” Slowly, from the top, the South Tower starts to settle on itself, falling… falling… a grinding, screeching cry, the great building in its death throes. I glance at Charlie. His eyes fill with tears but still he mans his camera. An enormous cloud of dust and debris rushes forward, obscuring the lower stories of the doomed building, then settles, flooding across the plaza, into the street, up, down, across Church Street… ten, fifteen stories high! A maniacal blizzard, thousands of papers borne aloft, tens of thousands. “As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,” I murmur, beside myself with horror." Check out the first book (yes, there's two) through the SPL catalog here. And join Blais for a talk and book signing. There will be light refreshments. Contact Eileen Fontenot at for more information.  

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