Before he was known as one of Colorado's most promising fiction writers, Articles of War author Nick Arvin worked as a forensic engineer, analyzing data from automobile accidents to figure out what went wrong. The job required precision, imagination and an inherent understanding of plot, and it foreshadowed Arvin's current position as a straddler of worlds. A graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop and recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Arvin holds a day job and has an engineering degree from Stanford University.
Drawn from life, Arvin's new novel, The Reconstructionist, is set in the surprisingly fertile narrative world of automobile-accident reconstruction. The smash-ups and ensuing investigations are a juicy engine for a character-driven story that engages both heart and head.
"Working as a forensic engineer was incredibly interesting, but also very discomforting in the way that it applies cold, analytical techniques to examining events that are full of coincidence and human drama," says Arvin. "Writing The Reconstructionist became, among other things, my effort to explore this conflict inherent in the work."
Arvin appears tonight at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street, at 7:30 pm. Call 303-436-1070 or go to www.tatteredcover.com for information.
Thu., March 22, 7:30 p.m., 2012