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Here Comes the Son

Civil War story about a lost dad strikes symbolic.

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Robert Olmstead knows why his novels – including the new Coal Black Horse – feature fathers, sons, and the connection between them. “My dad was a drinker,” he says. “He taught me how to drive so I could drive him home.” Coal Black Horse centers on a 14-year-old boy whose mom asks him to bring home his father from the Civil War. She gives him a special coat -- which is blue on one side and gray on the other -- to wear on his journey to the battlefield. “Mothers have been sending sons out to look for fathers forever,” says Olmstead, a professor at Ohio Wesleyan University. “I just can’t seem to stop writing these kinds of stories.”
Tue., May 15, 7 p.m.

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