Wednesday, December 20, 2017

C. Morgan Babst

C. Morgan Babst's debut novel is The Floating World. From her Q&A with Amy Brady at the Chicago Review of Books:

Amy Brady: You’re originally from New Orleans. Did the people and places you actually knew there influence this novel?

C. Morgan Babst: I wrote the novel in New York during what felt like a period of exile. I had wandered there while New Orleans was still under evacuation orders following Katrina—I’d left town with my family the day before landfall—and met my husband, gotten stuck. Terminally homesick, I began writing the novel as a way of transporting myself back, conjuring the city—its post-storm stench and greener fragrances, the sounds of its people and its music—with as much verisimilitude as I could manage.

However, with a couple of touchstone exceptions—Peristyle, The Blue Nile, a snippet of autobiography—the specific houses and characters of the novel were entirely imagined. Considering the magnitude of the losses that so many of my fellow New Orleanians had experienced, I wanted to be very sure my characters weren’t trespassing on anyone else’s property. Instead, I used the book to resurrect older ghosts. Though there are living Boisdorés in New Orleans, the family in my novel descends from an 18th-century man who, as far as I can tell, died without heirs, and I built the Boisdorés’ house on a parking lot on Esplanade where...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue