After a successful research trip to Europe that included a talk on Bertha von Suttner at the Peace Palace in The Hague (see photo above), I’m excited to share some other good news related to Peace at Last.
For starters, I’ve been awarded a generous grant from the Vermont Arts Council to develop stand-alone excerpts from the novel. The first of these, entitled “Koppargruva,” will be published by the literary journal Ploughshares as part of their “Solos” series in the 2016-17 season. This chapter builds upon some new and intriguing research about Alfred Nobel’s trip to the United States in 1866, shortly after the end of Civil War. The second excerpt, entitled “Le Trac” (a French term for stagefright), will follow Bertha’s frustrated attempts at a singing career during her stay in Paris in the years just prior to the Franco-Prussian War. I am grateful to the Vermont Studio Center for providing me with a scholarship to work on developing and editing these sections during an upcoming, month-long residency.
With news of the project’s increasing momentum, I look forward to updating this blog more regularly and posting more photographs from research trips, especially those that relate to key scenes in the novel. In the meantime, the manuscript continues to grow, revealing new insights into both Alfred and Bertha on an almost daily basis. I look forward to sharing some of these discoveries here in the weeks and months ahead!