John Riley worked in the museum world for thirty years in and nearby Washington, D.C. He searched for meaning ascribed to or drawn from high art and humble objects. His articles on historical topics ranging from American slavery, the White House, the Virginia planter class, and American presidents have appeared online and in scholarly journals. He has known firsthand the limits of the historian when faced with an incomplete record of the past. He recently turned to fiction in an imaginative attempt to tackle questions of what we know and what we will never know – and how a different kind of knowing may be required of us.
What is the intersection of fact and faith? The natural and supernatural worlds? How does one, if willing, reconcile a rationalist’s outlook with belief in a higher power? These are themes embedded in his fiction.
Raised minority Catholic in the Moral Majority’s stronghold, he spent a childhood on the outside looking in, but always looking. He now lives in a college town. When he hikes the mountains with his two adopted fur buddies, and his long-suffering wife, he is still searching.