Position: Research Specialist and Manager
Organization: Transgenic Mouse Core Facility at the Medical University of SC
In my spare time: I have taken up researching local modern history in the West Ashley region of Charleston, SC. I have published two books with Arcadia Publishing: “Byrnes Downs” and “West Ashley”. Out of this research came an appreciation for the lack of formal written material about the early twentieth century history of West Ashley when the area changed from an agrarian lifestyle to suburbia. I am continuing to research this period in hopes of filling this void. Interviewing people and listening to their stories has become a serious hobby. I have also discovered several treasures in the form of scrapbooks and I have facilitated their transfer to the College of Charleston’s Special Collections. It was during this process that I had a conversation with Katina about my goal to read one novel by each author who has won the Nobel Prize in Literature. She asked me if I would write about this and the ATG column “Booklover” was born.
Favorite books: Tough question. I read probably everything that Daphne du Maurier wrote when I was a young girl. Then I wrote an English thesis based on C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. From this I developed my philosophy that if you only develop your strength then you will have no dimension and your strength will become hideous. The heart and the mind both need a voice. Then I discovered Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. “Strange Pilgrims”, particularly “Light is Like Water” is one of my favorites. And if you want to be entranced read “The New Life” by Orhan Pamuk: “I read a book one day and my whole life was changed. Even on the first page I was so affected by the book’s intensity I felt my body sever itself and pull away from the chair where I sat reading the book that lay before me on the table. ….It was such a powerful influence that the light surging from the pages illumined my face; it’s incandescence dazzled my intellect but also endowed it with brilliant lucidity.” Enough said.
Goal I hope to achieve five years from now: Write a third book on the West Ashley area about the many great stories that I have collected and connect them with the area’s history.
Tom Gilson. Test Bio