Monday, October 17, 2011

Lauren Redniss

Lauren Redniss is a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award for Nonfiction for Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout.

From her Q & A with Barbara Chai at the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog:

How did you conceive of “Radioactive,” a graphic novel about Marie and Pierre Curie?

Can I just say, I don’t think of it as a graphic novel. I have so much respect for people who do graphic novels. My model is not the comic strip form. I don’t think in panels and I’m incapable of drawing a figure over and over that looks the same. My hope was to find a different way to tell stories, to create a form that’s not a graphic novel but a different way of combining artwork and written text to tell a story. I don’t even think of them as illustrations. I would never want to create an image that was redundant to what is being said in the text. I want them to each say something distinct and in the interplay, there’s a meaning that emerges that couldn’t happen without one or the other.

How were you drawn to the story of Marie and Pierre Curie?

I thought there were many possibilities for addressing issues that are pressing in our world today through this love story of Marie and Pierre Curie. Their work has led us to part of a series of discoveries that has led us to the world as we know it today where we grapple with nuclear-weapons proliferation, nuclear medicine – radiation treatment, nuclear power and all the dilemmas that raises.

How did you physically create “Radioactive” – did you write or draw first?

I think...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue