Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tim Finch

Tim Finch's new novel is The House of Journalists.

From the author's Q & A with his editor:

Ileene Smith: The House of Journalists is my first debut novel at FSG, which is exciting, having come of age reading fiction published by this house. . . . I remember reading your manuscript as a new arrival on 18th Street, and being swept up into your imagined world of exiled writers re-making their lives in a London townhouse. . . . I was amused when Gary Shteyngart called your prose “flammable.” Were you?

Tim Finch: I was going for a high-octane style. I wanted the prose to fizz and crackle. . . . He may also have been alluding to the unstable elements in the novel that make the reader uneasy.

Ileene Smith: Like surveillance of the fellows of the House of Journalists?

Tim Finch: While I was writing The House of Journalists, I thought I was exaggerating the level of surveillance and monitoring of refugees for a dramatic and darkly comic effect. But after Snowden and Manning and the rest, I do begin to wonder if life hasn’t overtaken art. At this point, anybody who comes from a part of the world where our supposed “enemies” reside, even if they have fled from those countries because they stood up against Islamic fundamentalism or whatever, is now regarded as potentially suspicious by our intelligence and security services.

Ileene Smith: Despite the gravity of the material in The House of Journalists—exile, torture, loss, etc.—there’s quite a bit of humor and wordplay in it. What’s that about? Is it even appropriate? And why the reference to Ovid in the early pages?

Tim Finch: The nod to Ovid’s Black Sea Letters is partly just a name check to perhaps the greatest earliest work in our civilization devoted to the agony of exile. But of course I could only...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue