Alum Henry Hitz's 'Squirrels in the Wall': An Interspecies Romp of a Novel

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS -- In “Squirrels in the Wall” (SparkPress, $16.95, 303 pages), Oakland’s Henry Hitz, a former Bay Area preschool teacher turned author (“White Knight”), exercises his very weasel-like talent, leading readers on a sly journey through the entire life of his central human, Barny Blatz, with vignettes from different points of view, in different time frames and sometimes in different spheres of existence.

How did you enter all these various mentalities?

“It started in a previous novel I wrote — what I consider my first novel. It was never published, though it won a prize at San Francisco State. It was called ‘Tales of Monkeyman,’” Hitz said. “I had read an article in the 1980s about a man who was raised by monkeys in Kenya, and I just got this flash about a modern-day Tarzan story, and I got fascinated creating a whole baboon universe and really got into their minds.”