Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hot lava two-step.

We Were Dancing on a Volcano: Bloodlines and Fault Lines of a Star-Crossed Atlanta Family, 1849-1989 by Joseph Gatins (Paperback - Sep 3, 2009).

Bexley resident, WCRX-LP supporter and artist Egle Gatins Weiland is reading this book. It's a portrait of her ancestors.

The author is one of Egle's brothers, a journalist, gardener and small farmer.

This soft-bound book is available from but not from Bexley Public Library or the other local libraries.

Perhaps this nonfiction tale is too Southern, too European and too Hispanic for midwestern tastes.

As the story documents, there is an abundance of "Diversity" in this family. Midwesterners will call it "Confusion" but will also be seduced by the family's charm. And, most midwesterners also will be understanding of the family's imperfections.

Reviews are available at the writer's blog.

We Were Dancing on a Volcano will soon be listed on the suggested reading list of the "Between the Lines" author-book show at WABE 90.1FM in Atlanta (the NPR station there.) Here is that link:

10.31.09. Amazon. "Fascinating Family Saga. Five-star review from Marianne J. Skeen (Decatur, GA). "This unvarnished account of a multi-national family with strong historic ties to Atlanta provides a personal window into the turbulent times of the 20th century. The volcano erupts and it's not always pretty, but always intriguing, especially when viewed from the family perspective. I meant to read just a bit more while I finished a cup of coffee after breakfast, but ended up reading the second half straight through! I found it a bit slow at the beginning, but it really gained momentum when the author's personal reflections began to dominate. It's both a thoroughly researched history and fascinating tale."

10.25.09. Amazon. Five-star review from Betty Booker Morriss (Richmond, VA). "I'm a huge fan of real stories about real people, especially families. Joe tells all, only his relatives are far more interesting characters than most families' kinfolk, including mine. The Gatinses are Wall Street and Southern wheeler-dealers, a World War II French Resistance fighter and a POW escapee thrown into ever-more-hellish stalags (no Greatest Generation vet should miss these gripping tales), heiresses, Irish immigrants and high society and Spanish relatives by way of Spain, Mexico, England, France and the US. They all live life to the fullest -- and sometimes a little too much and suffer the consequences. But they endure through the generations. Joe reports on the whole thing with respect and unstinting truth-telling. I read half of it in one sitting, and finished up the next day! Kudos and highly recommended."

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