Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Holly LeCraw

Holly LeCraw is the author of The Half Brother.

From her Q & A with Caroline Leavitt:

Families. Secrets. The things we do—or don’t do—for love. All these themes permeate your wonderful novel. Why do you think love, the most important thing in life, is always the most difficult thing to maneuver? Why does it bring out the best—and the worst—in us?

Charlie’s obsessed with questions of identity, and identity begins with one’s family. This is a guy born with imposter syndrome, because he has no father, and because he senses that there is a secret he’s not being told, in the way that all of us, especially when we’re children, can sense secrets.

I myself was attracted by the notion, the problem, of nature vs. nurture, of genetics, of the source of identity—for whatever reason that presented itself as one of the central questions of the book. Charlie assumes identity comes from parentage, which of course it does, in part; but that’s just one way he’s letting others define him. He has a very old-fashioned, classical, even Biblical belief in this biological determinism. It isn’t until he comes to Abbott, and really until he falls in love, that he feels like he has a little bit of agency, that he is finally himself, an individual. And then that goes south, rather spectacularly.

It’s one of the hallmarks of falling in love, that one feels...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue