'Train Of Small Mercies': RFK's Last Journey Imagined | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

'Train Of Small Mercies': RFK's Last Journey Imagined

Play associated audio

In the news business, time is marked by great events: the anniversaries of elections, wars, hit songs and the births and deaths of famous people.

But each of us also has a personal timeline by which we measure our life: the day we start our first job, fulfill a dream or glimpse history passing by, close enough to touch.

David Rowell's debut novel, The Train of Small Mercies, puts public and personal timelines alongside each other as he recounts June 8, 1968. That's the day a train made a slow, momentous journey from New York to Washington, D.C., to deliver the body of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy for burial beside his slain brother.

Millions of people lined the route. It was the dead middle of an earth-shaking year that had already seen mounting losses in Vietnam, an American president decline to run, a hero martyred when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, chaos, riots and songs. All of the characters in this novel are touched by the times, but also mark them in different, intimate ways.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

In 'Blue Eyed Boy,' Author Reveals Long Recovery From Facial Burns

Robert Timberg, who was disfigured by a land mine as a Marine in Vietnam, went on to become a successful journalist. His new memoir Blue Eyed Boy charts his struggle to recover from his wounds.
NPR

Widely Used Insecticides Are Leaching Into Midwest Rivers

Researchers found that a class of chemicals similar to nicotine used on corn and soy farms have run off into streams and rivers in the Midwest. There they may be harming aquatic life, like insects.
NPR

Jury Awards Former Gov. Ventura Nearly $2 Million In Defamation Case

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura said his reputation had been damaged by an account of a fight in a book. In a split verdict, a federal jury agreed with him.
NPR

Solving The Scourge That Is Slow Hotel Wi-Fi

Hotels are happy to charge you $300 a night for a stay, but their Wi-Fi speeds are often too slow to stream a movie. Now, two competing sites are trying to solve the problem.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.