Thursday, May 31, 2018

Kevin Powers

Kevin Powers's new novel is A Shout in the Ruins. From his Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: You note that your new novel is based in part on actual events that took place in Richmond in the 19th century. What did you see as the right blend between the fictional and the historical as you wrote the novel?

A: I wanted to tell a story that would allow this period to feel lived in for a reader. I love history, but much of it seems to exist on a macro level, the movement of forces and systems at work and so forth.

So while it was important to me to represent historically accurate details that reflected the character of the times, I wanted to focus more on the micro level of what it might have been like to live in those times.

Although there are examples of diaries and first person records that I turned to in my research, invention allowed me to explore multiple points of view and the kinds of dynamics that would exist within the constraints of the times among individual actors.

Q: The book takes place over more than a century, with different chapters told from the perspectives of various characters. Did you write the novel in the order in which it appears, or did you focus on one character's story at a time?

A: My hope in structuring it the way that I did was that...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue