Today I’m hosting an interview with Michael Boylan, author of literary fiction “To The Promised Land”. Enjoy!
Q: Why did you write this book?
MB: This book fulfills two overall purposes. First, it explores forgiveness. This is a fundamental problem in the human experience. We all do bad things. Most of this is against a particular person. Some are in the unfortunate experience of doing bad things that hurts many people. In this story we have the character of Moses Levi who experiences both: he has betrayed his college roommate, Peter Simon and he has gotten a large chemical company off the hook from any legal damages after the company killed and injured thousands of people.
Q: That reminds me in a small way of the Holocaust.
MB: Yes. Unfortunately group forgiveness is required in so many instances. Just recently in the U.S.A. there was an instance of forgiveness witnessed by the victims’ families of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The perpetrator did not ask for forgiveness, but the families of the victims came forth anyway and offered their forgiveness for this horrendous crime. In other instances it isn’t so simple. The chancellor of West Germany once tried to go to Israel’s Knesset to ask for forgiveness for the Holocaust.
Q: But aren’t there lots of examples like this?
MB: Yes, every single day on a small scale there are instances of group atrocities. The larger ones are thankfully rarer. Each person needs to establish her own position on this. Books like To the Promised Land hope to help get you there.
Q: What about the individual case of forgiveness?
MB: This is very common. There are many models for this. To the Promised Land examines one approach from the Jewish tradition.
Q: What was the second reason you wrote this book?
MB: The book is the third in my De Anima series of novels that examines prominent worldviews loosely based upon the major world religions.
Q: Who is your target audience?
MB: People who want an entertaining story that also gives them something to think about afterwards: an aftertaste, if you will.
About the Book
Author: Michael Boylan
Genre: Literary Fiction / Mystery
Every student leaving the protected grounds of school wonders: must I now throw away my ideals, or can they guide me through the rough-and-tumble city? The philosopher Socrates’s descent into the bloodsports of business and politics was called “ketabasis.” But for the old college friends Moses and Peter, it is betrayal and murder found in Michael Boylan’s fast-paced and gripping novel, To the Promised Land. Can their friendship, and their morals, survive in the Washington world of corporate crime, backstabbing bosses, floundering do-gooder groups, and a media ravenous for scandal? The old adage, “Do no harm,” is pulverized in Washington’s internecine power-struggles: for nearly every action brings an unexpected harm, and several enemies. Moses leaves the law, seeking atonement for shielding a company that poisoned a town; Peter leaves the small world of the campus, and takes up a controversial campaign to alter affirmative action, seemingly to bring about “the greater good.” Their threads of ethics must do battle against lawyers, private detectives, secretive lobbyists and, looming over all, the charge of first-degree murder. Boylan sets philosophical passions, and an engaged dialogue about forgiveness, inside a film-noir world, where affection, family loyalty, and trust come under threat. Propulsive and witty, To the Promised Land is smart about ideas, and smart about people negotiating justice and power in public life.
—David Gewanter. Professor of English, Georgetown University.
Michael Boylan’s thought-provoking novel, “To the Promised Land,” is a gem. Read it for its suspense-filled, fast-paced action, for the philosophic insights its characters raise as easily as they breathe, or for probing its main mysteries: why did Moses Levi disappear; why did he send his journal to his college roommate; and, more profoundly, how can one heal a guilty conscience or live without harming others?
—Virginia L. Warren, Professor of Philosophy, Chapman University
Michael Boylan is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Marymount University. He is the author of 26 books and over 120 articles in Philosophy and Literature. Details can be found at michaelboylan.net.
Buy the Book:
Amazon (Kindle): Amazon (Kindle)
Amazon (Paperback): Amazon (Paperback)