Thomas Mallon's 'Bandbox' Thomas Mallon's latest work of historical fiction is Bandbox. It's set in 1920s New York, amidst the ruthlessly competitive world of magazine publishing. For years Mallon soaked himself in the tabloids and novels and music of the era -- the key, he says, to writing authentic dialogue and narration. Hear Mallon and NPR's Scott Simon.

Thomas Mallon's 'Bandbox'

New Novel Set in New York During the Roaring '20s

Thomas Mallon's 'Bandbox'

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Historical novelist Thomas Mallon, author of bestsellers Dewey Defeats Truman and Clara and Henry, has come home to roost. The former literary editor of men's magazine GQ, Mallon has crafted a novel set in the 1920s about the ruthless competition between a fictional New York City magazine and its cutthroat rival.

Bandbox is populated by molls and mobsters, with several real-life characters thrown into the mix. Mallon deftly captures life in the 'Roaring Twenties' through meticulously accurate dialogue, descriptions and plot developments.

NPR's Scott Simon spoke to Mallon and discovered his primary rule when writing historical fiction: read less about the period and more from the period. Mallon feels this is the only way to truly represent the time he has chosen to write about. The author reveals that this process was more important for Bandbox than for his earlier works, which all revolved around a specific historic event that could be easily researched.

Thomas Mallon Reads from 'Bandbox'

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