Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Carmiel Banasky

Carmiel Banasky is the author of The Suicide of Claire Bishop: A Novel.

From her Q & A with Ryan Krull for The Brooklyn Rail:

Ryan Krull (Rail): So I’ve got to start by talking about West [a New Yorker with schizophrenia, who sees the painting of Claire’s suicide in a gallery and immediately becomes obsessed with it and its elusive artist], who, for me, was one of the oddest and most relatable characters I’d read in long time. The ways in which his schizophrenia manifests itself are exaggerated versions of how we all behave privately in our minds. Was it a conscious decision to make him more relatable by way of his symptoms?

Carmiel Banasky: That was really the project of the book. I don’t think all readers are going to feel that way. They might feel put off by West. I didn’t start off with any kind of agenda, but when I went back to revise and I needed something to keep me going, it was the idea that I wanted his experience to be relatable, both for people who have experienced schizophrenia and other types of mental illness, but also for people who’ve never had those experiences. I wanted to bring the reader as close as possible to West’s logic and consciousness, in an uncomfortable way, like there’s no escape. Reminding myself of that reminded me why I was doing this at all.

I wanted to counter the only images we see of schizophrenic people on the news, which is when there’s been violence or crime. I’ve had two friends who’ve been diagnosed with schizophrenia and I’d never read anything like their experiences. I wanted to...:[read on]
Visit Carmiel Banasky's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Suicide of Claire Bishop.

--Marshal Zeringue