Katie Kitamura's new novel is A Separation. From the transcript of her interview with NPR's Scott Simon:
SIMON: I'm going to try and be obscure about this.Visit Katie Kitamura's website.
KITAMURA: Oh, OK. I think I know what's coming (laughter).
SIMON: Well, midway through the novel...
SIMON: ...Da-da-dum (ph) - there's a murder. A lot of novels - a lot of novelists would use the mystery of a whodunit as a kind of lure to bring the reader through the rest of the story.
SIMON: I'll leave it there.
KITAMURA: Right. I mean, so that is probably the primary big piece of plot that happens in the book. One of the things that I was thinking about a lot when I was writing the book was if it would be possible to write something that really was about the mind and the consciousness of the narrator and where the real so-called plot developments that happen aren't things that happen out in the world. They aren't bits of action - somebody arrives, somebody leaves, somebody gets killed, somebody robs a bank, whatever it is.
And so I think the most dramatic shifts that happen in this story have to do with changes in perception on the part of the narrator, the way she comes to understand less and less of what she feels towards Christopher. To me, those are the most important and dramatic shifts. So that's why, in a way, I didn't want to use the kind of conventional plot device of a kind of mystery, although I think, in a lot of ways, I did try to steal...[read on]