Thursday, January 4, 2018

Sam Graham-Felsen

Sam Graham-Felsen's new novel is Green.

From his Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: You write that the inspiration for Green came from the question, “Why are interracial friendships—lasting ones—so rare in this country?” How did that question lead to the novel?

A: This is my first novel, but in everything I’ve written, from short stories to essays, I usually find myself starting out with a question — something I’m curious about, feel confused by, and want to try to work my way towards understanding better.

So it’s true, I started out with that animating question, but, of course, I knew I couldn’t — nor did I want to try to — answer a question as sweeping and general as that, especially in the form of a novel.

All a novel can do is describe specific characters in a specific situation. The situation I was interested in was a friendship between a white kid named Dave from a privileged, middle class household, and a black kid named Marlon who lives in a housing project around the corner from Dave’s house.

I knew, heading into the novel, that I wanted to write about why the friendship built up so quickly, but also why it fizzled out so quickly.

How would the differences in the levels of privilege between Dave and Mar grate on their relationship? What kind of micro and macro-agressions might Mar face, including from Dave? How would...[read on]
Visit Sam Graham-Felsen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue