Sunday, March 15, 2020

N. K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin's new novel is The City We Became.

From her Q&A with Cate Matthews at TIME magazine:

Systemic oppression is a recurring theme in your work. Is it difficult to revisit those storylines and that pain over and over again?

It’s not difficult—this is my life. This is the world that I know. When I contemplate existential evil, I don’t see some abstract devil, I see people torpedoing themselves just to maintain a status quo and systemic advantages that actually in the long run aren’t helpful for everybody. White people don’t really benefit that much from racism. And the majority of men aren’t benefiting wildly from patriarchy. These are systems that encourage people to act outside their own best interests. We’re perfectly capable as a species of looking at other people who are different from ourselves and understanding that those are other human beings and that they have the same interests and fears and wishes as the rest of us. But these systems discourage that kind of identification.

You once said that artists and creators, especially those who work in speculative fiction, are the engineers of possibility. What possibilities do you hope to engineer with your work?

I would want people to come away from my fiction with a greater understanding of how these existential threats are developing and being artificially encouraged. The consistent theme throughout my work is that these are all societies that could be great, and they aren’t because people gotta be a–holes. That’s...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue