I began writing The Days of Darkness in 1972. Where the story came from I don’t recall, only that I envisioned a man running for his life. Perhaps there is some connection to the writings of William Faulkner whose works I was studying at the time. At any rate I wrote only a few thousand words before laying the manuscript aside. Over the next few years I added to it, but I think I didn’t have a clear notion of where the story was going or what was to happen.
Only after three decades had elapsed did I return to the writing. As I re-read it, I began to formulate a notion of what to do with it and to explore where it might be directed. Gradually I resumed writing and added characters, discovering where it was leading and following some unstated inclination or impetus. Soon it began to take shape, forcing me to deal with the larger issues of North versus South, black versus white, justice versus injustice, and man versus woman.
I suppose The Days of Darkness is in some arcane way allegorical. But it isn’t possible for me to explain that or even to explore it; to me it’s just a story I wrote in which I try to say something meaningful. I think that is what all stories try to do.