Book q&as with deborah kalb: q&a with elizabeth percer

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Book q&as with deborah kalb: q&a with elizabeth percer

Post a Comment. Elizabeth Haynes is the author of the new novel The Murder of Harriet Moncktonwhich is based on a true 19th century British crime story. She is a former police intelligence analyst. Q: You write that you stumbled upon Harriet's story while researching another novel.

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At what point did you decide to write a novel about Harriet? I read a lot of true crime, and it struck me as strange that nobody seemed to have written about her before — and it was such a compelling case.

book q&as with deborah kalb: q&a with elizabeth percer

What I really wanted was for someone else to write it, so I could find out what had happened to Harriet and who was responsible for her death. I considered doing a true crime examination of the case, but then I realised what I wanted more than anything was some sort of justice for Harriet, and by leaving her case unsolved, she was no better off. I really wanted her to be remembered, and heard, after years of being hidden in the archive, forgotten.

Q: What did you see as the right blend between the historical record and your fictional creation? A: I wanted to include as much of the facts as I could. For example, the dialogue in the inquest scenes is taken directly from the things said by the witnesses, according to the archive documents. Once the inquest reached a verdict in Maythere are no further newspaper reports concerning the case, and so everything that happens in the book after that date is my own invention. I really wanted the reader to have as detailed an awareness of the case as I did, in the hope that somebody might spot something I missed, and work out what really happened.

Q: How did you research the novel, and did you find anything that especially surprised you? A: It was incredibly detailed and labour-intensive, but also very satisfying — the more I looked, the more I found. I researched the family history of all the characters, researched the town of Bromley, the topography in — to the extent that, using several sources, I was able to work out where everyone lived — bearing in mind that full addresses were only provided in the census from the There will, of course, be things I have missed.

Simpson, and that Harriet had awoken one morning and found Mrs. Simpson dead in bed beside her, and that she had been much affected by it. I am consumed with curiosity about Mrs. Q: What do you think Harriet's story says about the role of women in 19th century England? A: At the time of her death, Harriet was 23 years old, a schoolteacher and a woman of respectable parentage. She was very religious, and worshipped at the Congregational Chapel in Bromley sometimes three times a day.

And yet her post-mortem revealed that she had swallowed a large quantity of prussic acid, and that she had been around six months pregnant at the time of her death. She had told nobody of her condition, and it seemed likely to the coroner that it had led to her murder. And Harriet is just one of so many women, silenced by history, unheard, voiceless.

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Women are still subjected to sexual violence, still expected to take all responsibility for pregnancy, and still silenced by men. We have come so far, and we still have such a long way to go. Q: What are you working on now? Q: Anything else we should know? A: I think the real Harriet would be astonished to learn that people all around the world have heard of her, and have learned about what happened to her. I hope people do look her up, and find the same evidence I did, and maybe work things out for themselves.

No comments:. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom.Hester Kaplan is the author of the new short story collection Unravished. For the story, it seemed like just the right word to describe a piece of innocent land that might be destroyed by greed and vengeance.

The word as title seemed right for the entire collection because it suggests to me the state of mind of so many of my characters have. I always want to be surprised by life, even if it hurts. Q: Family relationships, often complicated ones, are at the heart of many of these stories. Do you see any themes that unite your characters throughout the collection when it comes to how they handle their family dynamics? A: Every relationship we have is, in some way, an echo of our original family dynamic.

For many of my characters, family love is the most mysterious and baffling kind, and they approach it with caution and a certain amount of self-deception.

What does a wife do when her husband reads her support as just the opposite? I leave out the good parts and rush to the end. Writing short stories allows me to slow down, consider everything, and inhabit another person, which for me are the great pleasures of the work. Who knows what that weird combo did to my own aesthetic. See how that could be pretty confusing? I think the impulse that drives many people to write is the same impulse that can makes self-promotion painful stuff.

Thank you, thank se procurer du viagra sans ordonnance you, Deborah, for giving writers such a wonderful and supportive place to talk about their work. Posted by Deborah Kalb at AM. Search for:.She lives in the New York City area. Within the first 10 minutes, I was struck with how Benedict Cumberbatch played Sherlock--to me, it was as if he had the social skills of a young child.

Then I had that "A-HA! Then I did a lot of research on the characters to develop my own Holmes and Watson--I wanted them modern, but also very different from each other in almost every way even down to the fact that Shelby is addicted to sugar while Watson is diabetic.

Q: What about the Sherlock Holmes stories appeals to you, and why do you think he has remained such a cultural icon for so long? A: I think it's the way Sherlock looks at the world and how he can see things that others can't. We often see, but don't observe.

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In one of the original stories, Sherlock asks Watson to describe the carpeting in the hallway and he couldn't do it. Then I was thinking about the carpeting the hallway of a building that I had lived in for nearly ten years. I was way off! It's crazy that I would walk in that hallway several times a day and never paid attention to it.

And, what's crazy is that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle pretty much invented crime scene investigation and he was called into actual crimes to help solve them. I'm not that good yet!

Q: What did you see as the right balance between your own creations and the original Holmes and Watson? A: I do start with an original Sherlock story for a kernel of inspiration and then I build the story and case on my own. I do like to do little throwbacks to the original characters and different reincarnations.

Every time Shelby and Watson go undercover, they use names of actors who have played Holmes and Watson through the years. I want to tip my hat to what's been done, but I need to have my own characters, voice, and cases. Q: This is your middle-grade debut. A: Not really. Because it's a mystery, I do have to plot it out more than I do for my contemporary YAs. So I spend around a month plotting and doing research because I need to know all the red herrings, twists and turns, and, of course, who did it before I sit down to write.

I always write a fast first draft, but then I do a special revision focusing on Watson's writing to make sure its kid-friendly. He's pretty smart, but he's still only A: I'm finishing up the second Shelby book, which will be out next fall, and then have to start plotting out the third.

book q&as with deborah kalb: q&a with elizabeth percer

I also have a young adult novel, Just Another Girlcoming out in April. I almost gave up when I was working on my first book. When I think about what I'm most proud about in my career, it was that Sunday afternoon when I decided to stop crying and finish the darn book.Post a Comment.

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Her five other books include the novel Crescent and the memoir The Language of Baklava. She is the daughter of an American mother and Jordanian father, and her writing reflects her cross-cultural background.

Q: Your late father, Bud, and grandmother, Grace, play a large role in this book. What are some of the legacies they left you, particularly when it comes to food? A: Both of them taught me about the intimate relationship between food and memory, cooking and continuity.

book q&as with deborah kalb: q&a with elizabeth percer

For my grandmother, baking was a way to mark the moment: holidays and seasons were celebrated through specific pastries. I learned that Christmas cookies were especially significant, designed for visiting, instead of, for example, big meal-ending slices of cake. Cookies are bites to be taken during coffee and conversation—they encourage easy companionship without undue social pressure.

Baking was a heightened experience and form of celebration, both a ritual and an intimate act, because it was a rite she and her grandchildren performed together—you might even say religiously. Her ingredients and recipes were handed down through generations and now I have a collection of those stained old recipe cards. Dad, on the other hand, said he started to cook in order to stay out of fights.

He had a quick flashpoint and seemed to get into trouble whenever he left the house, so he stuck around the kitchen, watching his mother and aunts. Food gave him a sense of safe harbor and wholeness; it was tied intrinsically to the memory of family and home country. Cooking was as native to him as language itself, and by teaching his children to cook traditional meals like stuffed squash and roasted lamb with garlic, he was handing cultural memory down to us—teaching us about the place his family started and the ways it sustained itself.

Q: Your daughter also is featured in your memoir--what are you teaching her about your family history and legacy, and what are some of her favorite things to eat?

A: Almost every night I tell her another family story—any small memory or detail I can recall about my parents and grandparents—which are often tied, in some way to food. I sing songs to her in Arabic and hope to take her to the Middle East soon to meet more of our extended family.

Q: How did you come up with the book's title, and what does it signify for you?

Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb

One day, she called and tried the new title out on me—I liked the energy and vibrance of Life Without A Recipe. It has a renegade, bush-wacking style that appeals to me.Good questions! I read this book and really liked it.

It was both a moving memoir and a detective story. Very interesting. I have my late father's memoir of his family's life in Poland before the war; his struggle to survive; and his post war lives in Israel and Nebraska. Having a website to tie everything together is a really great idea! Lea Karpman, 2nd Gen. It focuses on her great-grandfather, the artist Moshe Rynecki.

She also is working on a documentary film on the same subject. She is based in Oakland, California. Q: You write, "In I built a website dedicated to sharing my great-grandfather's art.

His thinking was this: we have the art in our home, very few people see it every year, and putting it online would make it more accessible to people around the world. In retrospect, it was a pretty novel idea. It was hugely serendipitous; as people saw the site, they started contacting me and telling me about paintings they had or had seen. Several years later, as YouTube started to become a household name, making a video for our website seemed like a good idea.

I sought advice from some documentary filmmakers that I knew because our sons went to the same preschool. That turned out to be excellent advice! The footage was used to create an initial nine-minute trailer for the film project, a proof-of-concept piece I used to gain c 3 non-profit status with the National Center for Jewish Film, and used to generate early funding for the film. The idea for the book came about because raising money for the documentary proved far more difficult than I ever imagined.

I wanted to capture those moments and connections before they were gone. But from where I stand, the two will always be inseparable. Filming informed my writing and as I worked through my emotions and perspectives on the written page I began to realize what was important to capture in filmic moments.

They really are companion pieces. Q: How did you research the book, and what surprised you most in the course of your research? A: I wish I could say I went to the library, checked out an enormous stack of books, read, and then sat down to write.Post a Comment. She lives in Scotland. Q: You write, "I see myself as slipping plausible characters and situations into a historical setting without changing the actual facts--a bit like a discreet time traveler.

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A: Actually, the most fictional thing about the book is the characters and their home. Take the most unlikely American family possible: a black woman and a white woman and their children — give them the most unlikely of jobs, aerial photography — and take them to the most unlikely of places, the invented village of Tazma Meda in the Ethiopian highlands. I loved developing the unlikely family. I based Rhoda and Delia, the grown-ups, on my mother and her best friend in Jamaica, where we lived for three years when I was in elementary school.

My mother Carol and her friend Rona raised their babies together for a couple of years, sharing clothes and chores, and often plunking their children into the same baby buggy or playpen. I loved figuring out a plausible back-story for these two women that would allow them to work and dream together on their own terms.

That landowner, Ezra, himself Ethiopian, is a doctor trained in a European institution. I gave my village a wealth of modern conveniences: I built them a clinic and a school and a radio mast and an airstrip. Such things existed, but rarely all in one place.

book q&as with deborah kalb: q&a with elizabeth percer

Its medieval monastery is also a place of marvels, with its priest who rescued church treasures in the battle of Magdala in Tazma Meda is too good to be true. The benevolent farmers leave fearfully, the village is bombed, the doctor is killed, the pilot is blinded… In a metaphoric sense, this is something that Ethiopia keeps suffering again and again.

So, the central focus of the book, the unlikely mixed-race family and their modern village, is fiction. But it is based on the ideals and policies of early 20 th century Ethiopia. The war that swallows the family and their village is real in almost every detail, right down to the dates of the battles. Q: How did you come up with the idea for your characters Em and Teo?

Em and Teo are pretty much themselves in terms of personality, developed for the book and by the book as I was writing it, but their close and loving relationship is based very consciously on me and my own younger brother, Jared.Post a Comment.

Elizabeth Bradfield is the author of the new book Toward Antarctica. Her other books include the poetry collections Once Removed and Approaching Iceand her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including The New Yorker and West Branch.

A: My obsession began when I was 24, right after I left a year-long deckhand gig and landed a desk job. I devoured it. Then I wanted more. And more. Eventually I looked back and saw I had spent 10 years reading. The following year, I was invited—at last! When I got home, I kept going. At first, I thought I was working on something that might become an interesting chapbook.

I am grateful to the few trusted readers who encouraged me to keep going and see if something larger might emerge. Q: You write, "Although drawn from personal experience, I would not call Toward Antarctica nonfiction or memoir.

It lives in the crepuscular world of poetry A: In many ways, the decision was not rational. In my essence, I am a poet.

Nonfiction must be accurate and truthful in order to maintain its credibility. Fiction presents itself as invention, even if it is drawn from experience.

Poetry though… the lines blur. I gravitate toward that space as a writer. I like the freedom of that liminal space. It felt right. As for the use of haibun, footnotes, and photographs in combination—well, travel is a very layered experience. It contains logistics, longing, confusion, memory, knowledge of history or ecology, and the shock of expectations upended or met in unexpected ways.

All of that tumbles together. I wanted a format that might represent those various layers.

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The effort to fully bring together my poet-self and naturalist-self required a hybrid form to carry those different registers. Q: How did you select the photographs for the book? In part, this is spurred by a desire to document what I experience, to bring back images I might share with friends and family and thus communicate the experience.

The power of images and words resting alongside each other not as illustration but as conversation is very potent. Everyone wants a shot of a wandering albatross cutting over raw ocean. Everyone wants the massive edifice of a tabular iceberg or a leopard seal stretched out and yawning on ice. Where are the humans in all of those wild shots? I know that, for the most part, people are not alone when they take them. Where is the rust?

The awkward? The threatening?

Q: What do you see looking ahead for Antarctica? A: I see a lot more tourism. The tourism industry increases there each year.


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