About the book:
“This book is mainly about two men who were very important to me.
“The first was there at my conception; the second came along 13 years later. Both men shaped my personality . . .
“The first man was my father, Paul Selgin, who, it so happens, was an inventor. The second was my eighth grade English teacher.”
Both Selgin’s father and the man he calls the teacher” led remarkable lives. Among other things, Paul Selgin invented the first dollar billchanging-machine and helped design the so-called proximity fuse, which hastened the end of World War II. As for the teacher, he became a forceful advocate for human rights and diversity, championing the cause of indigenous peoples and refuges from Southeast Asia, while insisting that they not forget their history ironically, since the teacher did everything he could to obliterate his own. As Selgin discovers only after their deaths, for very different reasons both men felt compelled to reinvent themselves.
The Inventors is the story of how these two charismatic men shaped the author’s life. It’s also the story of a relationship between a boy and his teacher, a relationship that was equal parts inspiring and destructive.
About the author:
Peter Selgin is the author of Drowning Lessons, winner of the Flannery O Connor Award for Fiction, a novel, two books on fiction writing, and several children s books. Confessions of a Left-Handed Man, his memoir-in-essays, was short-listed for the William Saroyan International Prize. His novel, The Water Master, won the Wisdom/Faulkner Society Prize for Best Novel. His essays have won many awards and honors, including six citations and two selections for the Best American anthologies, in which the title essay of his collection appears.
Selgin’s drama, A God in the House, based on Dr. Kevorkian and his suicide machine, was staged at the Eugene O Neill National Playwright s Conference in 1991. Other plays of his have won the Charlotte Repertory New Play Festival Competition, the Mill Mountain New Plays Competition, and the Stage 3 Theater Festival of New Plays. His paintings have been featured in The New Yorker, Gourmet, Outside, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal, and exhibited nationally.
Selgin is the prose editor of Alimentum: The Literature of Food, and nonfiction editor and art director of Arts & Letters. He is Assistant Professor of English at Georgia College and an associate faculty member of Antioch University s Creative Writing MFA program in Los Angeles.
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