Novelist Benjamin Percy has just published his fifth book, “The Dead Lands.”
Percy grew up in rural Oregon. His writing has racked up a stack of awards, including two Pushcart Prizes and an NEA fellowship. He’s written for “GQ,” “The Paris Review,” “Tin House,” and “Esquire,” where he’s a contributing editor. And he has several TV and movie projects in development.
Percy’s writing voice is almost as grim and devastating as his reading voice, which registers somewhere between Stephen King, Barry White, and James Earl Jones.
We talked to Percy about his post-apocalyptic novel, in which a bookish scholar named Lewis Meriweather and a free-spirited, alcoholic soldier named Mina Clark form an uneasy partnership to lead a small group west toward Oregon.