“The 5:22” is the first of my stories to be adapted for the screen. Chicago filmmaker Bernadette Demisay made a beautiful short film of about 22 minutes that played the festival circuit in 2006 and 2007. I talk about how it is for a writer to see his words come alive on the screen in an interview with Spoiler Alert Radio (http://www.podcast.com/TV-and-Film/I-205199.htm) in Providence, Rhode Island. One surprise: the filmmaker found symbolism where I hadn’t consciously intended it—such as when my main character presses his ear to the tracks to hear if a train is coming. (You can read “The 5:22” to see what I mean).
What is “noir” in fiction? Makes me think of Garrison Keillor’s private eye Guy Noir. But apparently the answer is very broad, given the scope of stories in “Boston Noir 2: The Classics” (Akashic Books). Authors include David Foster Wallace, Joyce Carol Oates, Andre Dubus and others (the group that includes me). My story “The 5:22,” which I wrote in 1999 and was chosen for Best American Short Stories that year, was picked for its Twilight Zone feel. In reviewing the anthology the Boston Globe described “The 5:22” as “like a ghost story…with a delightful twist.” That’s a take on it I hadn’t heard before.