Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jaimy Gordon

Jaimy Gordon's sixth novel, Lord of Misrule, is a Finalist for the National Book Award in fiction.

From her Q & A about the book with Bret Anthony Johnston:

BAJ: Horseracing itself is arguably one of the most complex characters in Lord of Misrule. What was it about the enterprise that captivated and inspired you?

JG: I’ll give you the short answer to this, since Lord of Misrule, and the way all its main characters ruminate on luck, is the long answer. When I hear the first few bars of Handel’s Israel in Egypt or Shishkov’s tale in Jan├ícek’s opera From the House of the Dead (just to seize the first two instances that come to mind) I’ll weep a little, without any sadness. The same thing happens when I’m standing at the rail of a horse race and the horses go by, especially if I’m watching some late closer make his move from many lengths back, or if a stalker slips into the lead in the stretch. It’s just visceral. I come from a family of horseplayers on my mother’s side, and both of my sisters have my weakness. One of them actually breeds racehorses—harness horses—and is very good at what she does. I know all that’s wrong with horseracing and I still have this weakness, even for a cheap claiming race if some old miler is running his race.

BAJ: Do you remember your original idea for Lord of Misrule? How closely does the finished book correspond to what you first had in mind?

JG: As I was suggesting earlier, I didn’t want Lord of Misrule to be another female picaresque from a single point of view but rather a social novel about a group of equally dominant characters inside a community (however disreputable) that is a world unto itself.

I was a friend of the late Malcolm Braly—can you say “the late” of someone who died in a car wreck in 1980, at the age of 54?—who wrote...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue