Thursday, November 6, 2014

Alix Christie

Alix Christie's new novel is Gutenberg's Apprentice. From the author's Q & A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: Why did you decide to write a novel based on Gutenberg and his apprentice, and how did you blend the historical and fictional aspects of the book?

A: I became intrigued by some research published in 2001 that suggested Gutenberg’s technique was not as advanced as generally thought. I did some digging and discovered the existence of Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer, both of whom were well known to scholars but not to the general public.

Once I realized that this historic partnership had blown up in a lawsuit, I found myself wanting to get to the bottom of how and why their partnership imploded. The surviving sources are mute; very little physical evidence exists, especially for the key years of 1450-54.

As a journalist as well as a writer of fiction, it was important to me to hew as closely as possible to what is factually known. The facts served as a scaffold, over which I tried to construct a plausible narrative for why this historic partnership might have hit the rocks.

Q: What type of research did you do to write the book?

A: I read massively in the piles of Gutenberg research in German, English and French. I interviewed and became friends with....[read on]
Visit Alix Christie's website.

--Marshal Zeringue