Work in Progress

Ivory Black

A novel, under review for publication

It is 2005. After four months in a hospital, Dick Rayburn returns home with a limp, a cane, and a deformed face. Around tense conversations between him and his wife, Valerie, concerning their absent son, Jamie, the narrative weaves memories triggered by objects in the house that Dick regards with the fascination of a man rediscovering himself. An old self-portrait draws him back to his childhood and the studio of his father, who trained Dick to be an artist, while an article critical of the Iraq War, by the journalist to whom he was engaged as a graduate student, resurrects the person he was and the woman he loved. Dick relives his evolution from a child-artist and left-wing student to the war profiteer Valerie blames for Jamie being in Iraq, and cannot stop reliving the day he flew into Fallujah and was shot down as his helicopter the city.

Memories haunt Dick, and to cope with them he returns to his childhood passion of painting. He paints what he saw in Fallujah, the person he feels he has become, and the loved ones he has lost. The images emerge from a deep, dark, luminous background, the principal ingredient of which is ivory black. But can painting heal the fractures through which memories flow?

The Gravity of Love

I am doing revisions of this novel and hope to have it ready for publication by the end of 2018. I will post a synopsis soon.





Brian Duren