Literary arts

Author to read 'factual and fictional' political satire about Donald J. Trump

By Tamra Testerman
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 1/16/19

New Mexico author Raphael Nevins is a self-described serial entrepreneur. His exploits include being the founder of several New Mexico nonprofit organizations, a former hedge fund …

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Literary arts

Author to read 'factual and fictional' political satire about Donald J. Trump

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New Mexico author Raphael Nevins is a self-described serial entrepreneur. His exploits include being the founder of several New Mexico nonprofit organizations, a former hedge fund manager and owner of a dairy farm in Belgium. Nevins will read from his latest adventure, a "factual and fictional" political satire about Donald Trump on Friday (Jan. 18), 5:30 p.m., at SOMOS, 108 Civic Plaza Drive.

The book is called "The Ghost of Donald J. Trump" and it is an imaginative literary romp that examines the political shenanigans of the 45th president of the United States. Nevins said he hopes his book will inspire citizens "to learn more about the details of our president's deceptions and harmful actions."

Incidentally, the author "has chosen to write under a pseudonym, W.I. Westmoreland, for a variety of reasons," a blurb on his book's website (theghostofdonaldtrump.com) states. "While some authors chose the name under which they write in order to hide their true identity or because their real name is hard to pronounce or difficult to remember, Raphael Nevins chose a pseudonym to honor one of his grade school teachers, who encouraged him to write fiction."

Reserved seating is available. Refreshments will be served. Tempo contacted Nevins to ask about the ideas and inspiration for his book. Here's what he had to say.

Tempo: Who are your literary inspirations?

Raphael Nevins: William Burroughs, J. William Fulbright, Stephen Greenblatt, Jill Lepore, Scotty Reston, John Keats, William Butler Yeats, Edgar Allan Poe and Walt Whitman.

Tempo: Please describe the details surrounding the decision to write this book.

Nevins: The reason I wrote this factual and fictional story about the lives, fortunes and exploits of the 45th president and his family is to provide a fresh perspective for students and citizens so they may better appreciate the tapestry of fact and fiction by imagining events and circumstances that can lead to cataclysmic changes in the American political landscape. While the president believes he pays no price for his toxic tweets and escalating inaccuracies, as informed and empowered citizens, we can check him at the ballot box and by communicating our outrage to our other elected officials.

Tempo: Trump is considered by some to be a polarizing political figure in America. How did you develop the fictional character?

Nevins: By weaving factual events and commentaries with a fictional character, in the guise of Melania and Donald Trump's secret daughter Sharon. I hope that citizens will want to learn more about the details of our president's deceptions and harmful actions. I hope that the book will serve as a resource for the [American Civil Liberties Union], EMILY's List, the #MeToo movement, the Sierra Club, those fighting every day for equity in our schools, and others who show their compassion for children jailed at our borders without cause or due process, and that they come together to challenge and deflect the continued affront to our democracy by our current president.

Tempo: Where do you see your work in the canon of political satire?

Nevins: I am humbled by the question. However, I am starting a GoFundMe page called "Empowering Youth to Confront the Tyrants in Our Midst," so that underserved students in New Mexico charter and public high schools might be better informed and equipped to meet the challenges of the day. Students, teachers and our public libraries will receive free copies of the book and many important works by noted observers of our republic through the ages.

Tempo: What brought you to New Mexico?

Nevins: After graduation from Cornell University, receiving an MBA from New York University, then serving as an assistant dean, I left New York to work as an economic development consultant to the Navajo Tribe in the 1970s. After seeing the world from a very different perspective, I was fortunate enough to enjoy five magical years in Santa Fe.

My ventures included establishing the Santa Fe Station Restaurant on Guadalupe Street. It is known as Tomasita's today. An investment firm recruited me, and I moved to California and was in the right place and the right time to meet Sol Price and help him bring the Price Club public and help raise venture capital for the founders of Costco. After my mother's death, I moved to Europe for a few years to write screenplays, from my small dairy farm in Belgium (luckily they were never produced). I returned to New Mexico about 16 years ago. Nothing beats the Land of Enchantment for beauty, peace and excitement, even New York City pales in comparison.

Tempo: Any other thoughts you care to share with our readers?

Nevins: As the Beatles wrote so many moons ago: It's high time "to come together." Let's be kinder to each other and welcome innocent children at our borders, who yearn to become productive.

For more, call SOMOS at (575) 758-0081 or visit somostaos.org.

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