Seafarer’s Latest Literary Effort Features Four Short Stories


March 2018


Back to Issue

David Madden’s days as a Seafarer comprise a relatively small segment of his life, but that time continues to influence his writing.


A frequently published author, Madden recently launched “Marble Goddesses and Mortal Flesh” – his fifteenth work of fiction. The 229-page book contains four novellas or short stories, the first of which is set on a ship to Chile. That piece is based on a trip Madden made as a wiper in 1952.


His first novel (“The Beautiful Greed”), published in 1961, drew on that same voyage.


“I am proud of the SIU and to have been a part of it,” said Madden, who sailed with the union from 1951-53. “I’m also proud of what merchant seamen are doing these days.”


The new book may be ordered on Amazon; through the publisher, the University of Tennessee Press; or signed, directly from the author, at


An online book review described “Marble Goddesses and Mortal Flesh” as “a trip down memory lane. The tales collected here … sketch scenes from the life of Lucius Hutchfield, the Knoxville native’s alter ego. They trace the arc of an artist’s journey and testify to the power of a writer who continues to find innovative ways to entertain and instruct readers…. Readers new to Madden’s fiction will find in ‘Marble Goddesses and Mortal Flesh’ a fair introduction to the author’s recurring themes and stylistic panache. For longtime fans, this book, like Madden’s 2014 collection, ‘The Last Bizarre Tale,’ will provide ample evidence that David Madden remains a remarkable archaeologist of the mind.”


Madden, 84, didn’t exactly have trouble finding other interests after he finished sailing. He served in the U.S. Army, earned degrees from the University of Tennessee and San Francisco State, respectively, and attended the Yale School of Drama on a fellowship. Among other endeavors, he served as a writer-in-residence at LSU from 1968 to 1992, director of the university’s creative writing program from 1992-1994, and founding director of the United States Civil War Center (1992-1999). He and his wife moved to Black Mountain, North Carolina, in 2009; Madden remains very active with several service organizations.


Editor’s note: For more information about the author’s wide-ranging background, visit


# # #

Share |