William T. Vollmann: The Dying Grass, Part II

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The Dying Grass: A Novel of the Nez Perce War (Seven Dreams: Book of North American Landscapes) (Viking) is the fifth book in William T. Vollman's seven-book series about loss and transformation of the North American continent, this novel dramatizes a power grab disguised as a race war between Native Americans and settlers. Now there are few speakers of the Nez Perce language that Vollman researched during the 12 to 15 years it took to complete the massive novel. Is that kind of dedication necessary to create great and memorable writing? Vollman reveals that he would be disappointed in himself if he did not devote his waking hours to writing – and some of his dreaming and sleeping hours too. (Part I)

Read an excerpt from The Dying Grass.

Photo: Gregg Lewis