“I had to have that book… I didn’t stop for food. I didn’t stop to pee.” Natalie Baszile, The Millions
“Last March, Rose interviewed author David Payne, whose new memoir, Barefoot to Avalon, had just been released…The next morning, I headed to my local bookstore to see if they had any copies. No luck, the clerk said. They’d sold out…. I had to have that book. So, I downloaded the audio version and listened for the entire six-hour drive to Los Angeles the next day and for the entire six-hour drive back. I didn’t stop food. I didn’t stop to pee. I just stared through the windshield and gripped the steering wheel, carried along the twisting path of Payne’s wrenching narrative ..By the time I got back to San Francisco, my dashboard light was blinking. I had less than a mile’s worth of gas left in my tank. When my hard cover arrived, I sat down with a cup of tea and started at page one. I already knew the story, but now I needed to absorb it. That’s how good this book is.” –Natalie Baszile
“The acclaimed novelist’s powerful memoir about a troubled brother, dead at 42, is a deep examination of many sorrows–his family’s, his own.”
Host D.G. Martin interviews David Payne about Barefoot to Avalon on UNC-TV. Watch the show.
History and Life Stories Category
The Exeter Bulletin, Winter 2016
A conversation with author David Payne ’73
By Daneet Steffens ’82
David Payne ’73 wrote five critically acclaimed novels before turning his hand to memoir. The result, Barefoot to Avalon, is an unblinking look at the devastating effects that collusion replicates across generations. “We were a family and believed that family love was stronger than time or death, except it wasn’t” echoes in various permutations through Payne’s prose as he comes to grips with his brother’s bipolar disorder and his own scarred but resilient psyche. Avalon — lauded in 2015 as a Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book, an Amazon Best of Biographies & Memoirs and an Amazon Best Book — is a triumphant story of grasping in the darkness for the scary bits hidden there, catching them, bringing them to light and, ultimately, alleviating their impact.
Read the interview: https://www.exeter.edu/exeter_bulletin/12984_18242.aspx