Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Jonathan Papernick

Jonathan Papernick's new novel is The Book of Stone.

From his Q & A with Caroline Leavitt:

There is always something haunting a writer that gives way to a novel. What was haunting you that gave way to The Book of Stone?

I think in some ways I am always haunted by something or many things. I think the most obvious answer for this question is that I was haunted by my experience living in Israel, in the sense that I wrote about Jewish extremists and violence in my first collection of short stories and still felt that I had not fully explored that issue. I wanted to dig deeper into the fanatic mentality and what it is that makes people into terrorists and The Book of Stone was a much broader canvas which allowed me to explore this fascination. I don’t know if it’s out of my system yet, but I certainly can move on to writing about other things.

Titles are notoriously difficult to get right, but yours seems perfection. Where did it come from and how hard was it to come by?

I’m a strong believer in the importance of titles, how a title should contain the entire DNA of a story or a novel and usually I do pretty well with my titles. The title for this novel was much more difficult to come up with and I spent many, many years working under a different title that I thought was the perfect title. In the end, I realized that it was too difficult for people to remember it reminded them incorrectly of a song that had nothing to do with novel. So as I got back to rewriting my novel I knew I needed a better title, something that was perfect. I did what are Ernest Hemingway supposedly did in his search for titles, and I...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue