Sunday, July 31, 2011
ZERO MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT, I have posted the only known images made in Hiroshima the day the bomb fell. They were made by 32-year-old newspaper photographer Yoshito Matsushige. I met Matsushige in 1986 and he gave me five prints he made from the original negatives, along with his captions in English. Go to the site and click on the thumbnails for high-resolution scans of each of the photos. The detail in three of the photos is heartbreaking. There are also imperfections in the negatives, where the emulsion has run or cracked; lacking a darkroom, Matsushige developed the images in kitchen trays and washed them in a nearby stream.
Friday, July 29, 2011
My new Kindle ebook, ZERO MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT, which has been available for less than 48 hours, was ranked in the top 25 on two paid Amazon bestseller lists this morning. ZERO MINUTES collects my interviews with the survivors of the atomic bombings in 1986, when I traveled to Japan on a journalism grant, and adds new material as well.
Forty-one years after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, award-winning journalist Max McCoy traveled to Japan to interview and photograph the survivors. "Zero Minutes to Midnight" is the result, a nonfiction narrative in eight parts which gives voice to those who witnessed nuclear apocalypse.
In Japanese, the survivors are called hibakusha -- literally, "those who received the bomb." Featured is the story of Yoshito Matsushige, the newspaper photographer who shot the only images of Hiroshima the day the bomb fell. A special section includes some of those historic photos, as well as black-and-white portraits of the survivors made by McCoy in 1986.
In a new introduction, the author recalls the effect of that trip on his own life, and in the afterword--written in the wake of Japan's March 2011 earthquake and nuclear meltdown--he reminds us that apocalypse is always only a minute away. "Zero Minutes to Midnight" is long enough to present a compelling and historic portrait of the hibakusha, but short enough to read in a single sitting.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Here I am with my friend Red Shuttleworth, rounder and poet, immediately following the awards banquet at the Western Writers of America Convention last Saturday, June 25, at Bismarck, North Dakota. Red won the poetry award and I won the mass market fiction award for Damnation Road. Actually, the award I'm holding isn't really my award, but the Spur for the writers of the HBO film Temple Grandin. There was some snafu with my award reaching Bismarck, so the HBO award was used as a placeholder for my presentation. The photo is used courtesy Johnny D. Boggs.