We recently caught up with Virginia Pye, author of
River of Dust
, and asked her toshare with our readers the inspiration behind her debut novel, which Robert OlenButler called “remarkable in the ways that delight me the most….”
I come from a family of readers. My missionary grandfather, the Reverend Watts O. Pye,read Romantic poetry, Shakespeare, religious commentaries of his time, and the Bible, ashe rode on mule-back through the rugged northwestern plains of China. My politicalscientist father, Lucian W. Pye, who was born and raised in China, reclined in a black EZBoy in our home outside of Boston and read a minimum of five newspapers everymorning, stacks of foreign policy books splayed open on the coffee table, and endlessacademic journals that he dog-eared and annotated--all while the Celtics or Red Sox played on the TV screen. In Richmond, Virginia, I carry a novel tucked into my purse atall times and keep another in the back seat of my car, and more littered about the house. Iread at stop lights, while waiting in restaurants and doctor’s offices, and in any not-so-quiet moment. From the Pye side of my family, I learned concentration and how to readanywhere.