33voices interviews David Schmahmann
Are You Living a Double Life?
Rarely do I find myself reading a novel, yet this past week, I was really intrigued by David Schmahmann's forth coming novel - The Double Life of Alfred Buber. The story is beautifully written and chronicles the secret life of a highly regarded attorney, Buber, whose passion for women leads him to an illegitimate romance with a Bangkok bargirl. Although, Alfred Buber is a fictional character facing life's dilemmas, his story has scary resembles to current world affairs... . Just this week, we were thrown curve balls when we learned about 2 giant world figures apparently living double lives - former CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted to having a child with a former housekeeper, and IMF leader and French presidential candidate, Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested and accused of sexually attacking a New York hotel worker. Henry David Thoreau once said — "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation" and as I got to the heart of the story, I quickly realized that many people in the world are indeed living double lives, and that may not be all bad. According to a Gallup study, roughly 73% of America's working population are not engaged in their work, and almost half are less than satisfied with their current jobs. The storyteller, David Schmahmann is a perfect example - he's a highly accomplished Boston lawyer by day, and an imaginative writer at night — is that a double life? "I always wanted to write novels" he said, "but I also had the imperative that I needed to make a living, I went to law school and got a job in a big firm in Boston but, I didn't enjoy practicing law for 5 consecutive seconds over a space of a quarter of a century." This is nothing new, and in David's case, writing novels was his other life; whereas Buber's escape was women. Buber's dilemmas and David's writing style make this a highly engaging story. Like a great movie, the plot thickens as the story evolves and Buber struggles with living a respectable life... .