What’s that? You want to read some poetry today?
from “Close Proximity”
by Michael Martone
I wrote to T. C. Boyle. I had a question about something I read in his new book, The Inner Circle, a novel set in Bloomington, Indiana, and involving Alfred Kinsey, the sexologist, and his inner circle of researchers. Early in the book, a minor character is introduced with the name of “Martone.” I wrote to T. C. Boyle about that. I thought it might have been a nod my way as two decades before The Inner Circle appeared, I wrote and published a story called “Alfred Kinsey, Alone after and Interview, Dreams of Indiana.” In the email, I asked T. C. Boyle if that was maybe the case. He wrote back right away, saying no, he used the name of a childhood friend (he was born and raised in Peekskill, New York) and had never read my story but would try to read it soon. Martone is not that common a name, I thought. I did a cursory search online and discovered Peekskill is a hotbed of Martones—Martone & O’Toole Appraisal Company, Martone Realty, Martone Auto Collision—and we are all probably related one way or the other.