Wednesday, July 18, 2018

July 18. Bootheel Man

After Sabine blogged about 1491, I immediately thought of this book. To be honest, speculative historical fiction is not my favorite or my go-to. But I was casually browsing in the library and the name of the author made my jaw drop.

Morley Swingle is a prosecuting attorney. He prosecuted, in fact, the case involving my sister's friend who was killed by Columbia, Missouri police officer. After the trial, which was horrifying twisted together with really masterful storytelling and law-talkin', I remarked to my mother that Morley Swingle could do anything and I would go along with it. He could run for any office. Fly a plane. Do my taxes. Take out my wisdom teeth. He was amazing and could do anything.

So standing there in the public library seeing a fictional novel set both in modern day Cape Girardeau and pre-Columbian Cahokia written by the same man who managed a trial of a police officer in a college town where everybody kinda knew everybody and the lies were about shoulder deep...I had to read this.

And it was good! It wasn't earth-shatteringly brilliant, and I'm uncertain of the cultural appropriation problems inherent in writing a fictional account about pre-Columbian societies, but it did make me look at Cahokia with new eyes. We've got these mounds right across the river and I never thought about them. I never saw them for what they were until this little book.


  1. Please, not your wisdom teeth! ;) Another book added to my growing, impossible list.

  2. Wow, great story (even if the book didn't quite reach those heights). (And I want to ask about the trial and the events that led up to it, but don't know if that's appropriate.)

    1. Oh I will later this month because I have it in writing.

  3. His name its not easily forgotten, and you've talked before about how brilliance he was. Amazing to now have read his book, and learned new things about where you live too. (And I know nothing about Cahokia but I'm googling it now.)

  4. I love where our curiosity takes us (sometimes).

  5. This is fascinating. How utterly unusual to have opportunity like this to read this guy's work!