At the first Oakland Book Festival on Saturday, I attended one event, a discussion chaired by Grant Faulkner with the authors of two dazzling books I’ve recently read, Adam Johnson (The Orphan Master’s Son) and Jenny Offill (Dept. of Speculation).
Faulkner posited a link between their two different works, describing them as trauma narratives, Johnson’s about the violent suppression of freedom in North Korea, Offill’s about a woman contemplatively coping with parasites, betrayal, and fears of insignificance.
It was wonderful to hear them describe the origins of their novels in reference to the disruptive powers of trauma on narrative. I see the same trauma impulse driving the jive rhythm and jagged piecemeal of Mosh It Up, my novel..
I guess I have an affection for trauma narratives.
And for the Oakland Book Festival.