Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Roxana Robinson

Roxana Robinson's latest novel is Sparta.

From her Q & A at 2paragraphs:

Q: Your novel Sparta won the James Webb Award for Distinguished Fiction given by the Marine Corp Heritage Foundation. The question is often asked the writer: who do you write for? In the special case of Sparta–which considers a soldier’s return from Iraq–is there particular satisfaction in the work being recognized by this audience of veterans? Did you have them in mind as you wrote?

A: When I decided to write a book about a Marine (or rather, when that idea took me over), I began to do research about a culture that is famously insular. I learned very quickly how guarded and protective this culture is – how “tribal,” as one Marine called it–and how deliberately and absolutely they exclude outsiders. At a professional level I was rebuffed, over and over. I realized that it would only be on a personal level, through direct encounters, and through word of mouth, that I would be able to talk to the people who so interested me. They did interest me. I was not just interested but fascinated by every part of the experience of being a soldier. I was deeply sympathetic, but that wasn’t a reason for them to talk to me. I might get it very wrong, regardless of sympathy. No one knows what a novelist is up to, and I couldn’t explain it exactly myself. There was no reason for people to trust me.

Which is why I was humbled by...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Roxana Robinson’s website.

The Page 69 Test: Sparta.

Writers Read: Roxana Robinson.

--Marshal Zeringue