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Berkeley Blues Paperback – May 8, 2010
About the Author
My name is Tom Martin, and I am a writer – a novelist, a poet, a songwriter, an author of children’s books, and a lifelong lover of language. I am a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. I have earned a living in a variety of ways as the circumstances of my life, and the lives of those I love, have required. I’ve been a day laborer, a human resources manager, a rock and roll guitarist, a landscape gardener, a songwriter and performer, a bar manager, a busboy, an accountant, a janitor, and a cryptographic specialist. This variety implies a certain longevity, and provides, without my having actively willed it, a perspective on human experience that has deepened and enriched my creative life. The axiom “write what you know” gives greater latitude to those who’ve looked at life from different angles, and not merely as an observer. So, my novel, Berkeley Blues, draws on a time in my early life, but is informed with a point of view I could never have had at the time. I was too busy staying out of the Mekong Delta by writing term papers. Now, with the detachment that only time can provide, I have written about those mythical events - political upheaval, musical revolution, and a social sea-change - with considerable precision, and, I hope, passion. The cliché is that if you remember the sixties, you weren’t there. Berkeley Blues is a refutation of that notion. It is a living narrative, a confessional evocation of a world-view that lives to this day, with more yet to be lived and written. The well from which writing, or any art, is drawn must be replenished. For me, that wellspring is my family. I have been married to my muse for nearly 40 years, and our four children, now long since grown, have been, and continue to be, miraculous. We have four grandchildren, with a fifth due next month. Without the love and support of my family, and my wife in particular, I doubt that I would have attempted, much less completed, this novel.