I believe it was E. L. Doctorow who, responding to an interviewer's question on the logistics of writing something as long and intricate as a novel, used the analogy of driving through dark country at night: your headlights won't let you see very far, but they will get you all the way there. Having arrived at the end of a book, I like this analogy more and more. But headlights by themselves are not enough; and I would not have made it without the many navigators who rode with me, and watched my transit from above.
My mother, Harriette Seiler, and my father, John Seiler, have been reservoirs of support and love all my life. I can't begin to thank them. My grandmothers, Gabrielle Nye and Elizabeth Seiler, were exemplars of kindness, grace, and joy. My affection and respect for my brother Casey, my sister-in-law Rachael, my sister Margaret, and my brother-in-law Dan Engler go unsaid most of the time; but I hope they know how much they have enriched my life, and how dear they are to me. Ben Seiler, my favorite eight-year-old nephew, thinks he can take me to school on the basketball court, but I assure the reader I have at least another year of supremacy.
At the University of Kansas, Barry Shank and Bob Antonio both pro