NightoftheCometby George Bishop, author of The Night of the Comet: A Novel (Ballantine Books, July 2013)

In my new novel The Night of the Comet, the protagonist is a high school science teacher in a small Louisiana town, circa 1973.  Frustrated in his work, belittled by his family, mocked by his students, he hitches his aspirations to what he believes will be the astronomical event of the century: the coming of Comet Kohoutek.

For my portrayal of Alan Broussard, the teacher, I drew on my own experience in the classroom.  I’ve taught English for most of the last two decades—enough time, certainly, to give me a sense of the rigors and rewards of teaching, and also to raise my esteem of those who have been doing it even longer, and in more difficult circumstances, than I have.

I was also inspired, in my story of Alan, by movies I’ve seen that feature teachers as heroes—but not in the way you might expect.   (more…)

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