Alan Heathcock reads from his upcoming novel, 40.
The sun-baked flyers on the Storyfort promotional table in front of The Gallery at the Linen Building were out of date.
"As you might know, Laura van den Berg didn't get on her plane this morning," said The Cabin Executive Director Britt Udesen.
Van den Berg
is the award-winning author of Find Me: A Novel
and a collection of short stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us
. She was also the featured author on the last day of Treefort Music Fest but when Storyfort organizers learned she would be unable to attend, they didn't have to look far for a replacement.
Idaho writer Alan Heathcock
, author of the National Magazine Award-winning short story collection Volt
, is reputed to be an avid Treefort fan. For the last six years, Heathcock has been working on a novel, titled 40
. Engaging him for a last-minute reading after van den Berg cancelled was a bit of serendipity for Storyfort, now in its second year.
The reading was from a section of Heathcock's novel set in a Christian summer camp, where a pastor delivers a heartfelt sermon touching on his doubts about the existence of Hell, his exhaustion with the world man has created and what he sees as the unsupportable burden Christ set upon mankind. In 40
, humanity faces a world seemingly beset by biblical punishments, but it isn't the world that turns people against each other and creates strife—it's people and the ways their inner desires become reality.
"Every last thought becomes the world," the pastor says.
After he read, Heathcock told Boise Weekly
he's shopping for a publisher and hopes to release 40
"It was my New Year's resolution to get it out this year," Heathcock said.