A Web del Sol Writer in Residence

Madison Smartt Bell

There was always too much news about missing people, and too many of the ones who weren't missing were dead. Every time he heard about someone else missing he wondered how many just vanished without being missed. Every third person he passed on the street was probably missing from somewhere.
            - From Finding Natasha

Madison Smartt Bell is the author of eight novels, including
The Washington Square Ensemble (1983),
Waiting for the End of the World (1985),
Straight Cut (1986),
The Year of Silence (1987),
Doctor Sleep (1991),
Save Me, Joe Louis (1993); and
Soldier's Joy, which received the Lillian Smith Award in 1989. Bell has also published two collections of short stories: Zero db (1987) and Barking Man(1990). His eighth novel, All Soul's Rising, has recently been published by Pantheon and was nominated for a National Book Award.

Born and raised in Tennessee, he has lived in New York and in London and now lives in Baltimore, Maryland. A graduate of Princeton Universty and Hollins College, he has taught in various creative writing programs, including the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. Since 1984 he has taught at Goucher College, where he is currently Writer In Residence, along with his wife, the poet Elizabeth Spires.

Madison Smartt Bell, from The Cronin Interview
To my mind, Dr. Sleep was the end of a whole trend in my work. The book is basically structured as a prayer, and Adrian Stother's internal monologue drives the story. After I had finished it, I realized in a way I hadn't before that all the novels I had written up to that time were spiritual pilgrimages of one kind or another. Though they are by and large couched in the form of thrillers, they're essentially experiments in religion. My model for that is Dostoyevsky, who was basically a thriller writer with a lot of religious obsessions that he was trying to work out. I wasn't completely aware of this strain in my own work until I'd finished Dr. Sleep, or was well on the way to finishing it.

"All Souls Rising," the Writer's Cut

Here is the version of All Souls Rising which did not make it
into print, edited by Madison Smartt Bell and appearing for the first time.



Alternate Chapter 5

Alternative Chapter 6

Alternative Chapter 9

Alternative Chapter 15

Alternative Chapter 18

Alternative Chapter 25

Alternative Chapter 29

Alternative Chapter 33

Alternative Chapter 34

Alternative Chapter 37

Alternative Chapter 40

Other Selections from Madison Smartt Bell's work:

Finding Natasha

Barking Man


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