Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ronlyn Domingue

Ronlyn Domingue is the author of the newly released The Mapmaker’s War. Its sequel, The Chronicle of Secret Riven, is forthcoming in 2014. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, The Mercy of Thin Air, was published in ten languages. Her writing has appeared in The Beautiful Anthology (TNB Books), New England Review, The Independent (UK), and Shambhala Sun, as well as on mindful.org and The Nervous Breakdown. Born and raised in the Deep South, she lives there still with her partner, Todd Bourque, and their cats.

From Domingue's Q & A with Caroline Leavitt about The Mapmaker’s War:

The Mapmaker’s War takes place in what feels like an ancient period of history. Aoife is out of step with her time, but ahead of it, too. One reason she becomes a mapmaker is to define her life in some way. She’s aware women are meant to be only wives and mothers, and she doesn’t have much interest in either role, especially when she’s young. How do you perceive her struggle with these expectations?

It’s not that she’s opposed to marriage or motherhood. It’s a matter of choice. She writes, “You had no inclination to become what every woman you knew became. A wife, mother, domestic. You didn’t begrudge them their roles if they were freely chosen. Yet who can choose freely when the options are few?” She wants the opportunity to direct her own life and use the capabilities she has. She struggles against the coercion of custom and tradition, the limitations which usually don’t take into account an individual’s potential beyond gender. But readers will see her evolve with her circumstances. Aoife isn’t quite the same woman as Wyl’s wife and mother to his children as she is as Leit’s spouse and mother of their daughter.

There’s a major theme in the novel about the concept of choice, individual and collective. Why is that so significant?

As Aoife’s story emerged and I reflected on the details of her life, I kept thinking about a book I read, Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century by Jonathan Glover. It was a difficult read because it’s about war and genocide, an exploration of man’s inhumanity to man, but Glover includes examples of soldiers and civilians who didn’t give in to violence and cruelty. Most of the book is a complete horror, but when I finished, I had a clear, distinct thought: We choose...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Ronlyn Domingue's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: The Mapmaker's War.

Writers Read: Ronlyn Domingue.

My Book, The Movie: The Mapmaker's War.

--Marshal Zeringue