It’s great when a DC writer celebrates the culture and life of the city through fiction. Local DC author and former editor and book reviewer for The Washington Post Book World, David Nicholson does that with his latest book, “Flying Home, Seven Stories of the Secret City.”
Nicholson was the founding editor of the magazine Black Film Review. He has worked as a journalist for the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News and the San Francisco and Milwaukee bureaus of the Associated Press.
His latest book takes a deeper look at DC, told through seven stories. “All too often, writing about black Washington focuses on pathology like drug use and crime,” David told me. “I didn't want to add to that body of work. Instead, I wanted to celebrate the extraordinary in the ordinary, to give glimpses into the heroic lives of ordinary men and women dealing with issues that are universal."
"I wanted, as well, to give those who've only recently begun to call Washington home glimpses of what the city was like once upon a time before coffee bars, yoga studios, and sit-down restaurants with valet parking began to transform so much of the city,” David said.
Close readers of Flying Home will note that the book is set in Washington's Bloomingdale neighborhood. While landmarks are mentioned, however, the location of the stories is never stated. Instead, the action takes place on "the Street" or "the Avenue." This is a deliberate choice by Nicholson, “I wanted the characters in the book to stand as representative, and to capture in the book something of the spirit and style that characterizes all of black Washington.”
Don’t take my word for it. Well-known local DC author, George Pelecanos, was asked recently by Washington City Paper for a summer reading recommendation and he said, "So far, the book of the summer for me is David Nicholson's newly published ‘Flying Home, Seven Stories of the Secret City.’”
And Washington Post Opinions Writer Jonetta Rose Barras noted in her review of Flying Home, "I know the people in Nicholson’s book… truth be told, I knew them in my native New Orleans. The Bells, the Barbarans, the Thomas’ and Jacksons lived within a half mile radius of my grandparents home on Mexico Street. Like the folks in DC, they were ordinary people struggling with the challenges of life but their wisdom, invincible spirit and resilience earned my respect and admiration."
Come hear a reading by David Nicholson in Takoma Park and Shepherd Park:
Thursday, August 6th at 7 pm.
Takoma Park Library
416 Cedar St NW
Wednesday, September 2nd at 7 pm.
Shepherd Park Library
7420 Georgia Ave NW
You can read a review of Flying Home by the Washington City Paper.