Monday, September 21, 2015

Jonathan Weisman

Jonathan Weisman, a reporter for the New York Times, is the author of the new novel No. 4 Imperial Lane.

From his Q & A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: Why did you decide to set your novel in the late 1980s, with flashbacks to 15-20 years earlier?

A: This goes to what is true and what is fiction. I really did study abroad my junior year and really did take a year off, ending up caring for a fallen-aristocrat-turned quadriplegic. His sister, Joanna, had indeed eloped with a Portuguese doctor and somehow ended up in Angola, where the revolution swept her off to South Africa.

That was the framework for the fictional backstory. But it worked for what I wanted to do. Thatcher's Britain was an exhausted former empire trying to remake itself, to get off of its knees. Portugal's collapse in the early ‘70s was the end of the old-style colonial empire. They were perfect bookends for the story I was trying to tell.

Q: How did you choose the book’s title, and what role do you see imperialism playing in the novel?

A: The working title of the novel was actually "Empires End," no punctuation, just a statement. Imperialism and its inevitable demise is...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue