If I were to make a novel in which, say, a current English professor at Sarah Lawrence or Oberlin or some other elite private college proceeded to recount Charis’s story, I could hardly avoid writing about “racial supremacists dispossessing indigenous people.” But she is not of our time. Charis has complicated feelings about the colony and the tribes with their various alliances, but I don’t wish to write a book with characters who wear old-fashioned dress but reveal new-fashioned minds. Where is the truth in such stories? Instead, I aim to leap into the place, the time, and the mental world of my characters. To fail to do so is to fail the craft we practice.
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
… Worlds of Wonder: In Conversation with Marly Youmans on her New Novel Kenyon Review Blog. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)