Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Last night at the Milken Institute hearing Barry Eichengreen

I was at the Milken Insitute hearing Barry Eichengreen speak about his book Exorbitant Privilege (see www.ibla.us) and got side tracked on an unrelated conversation after the main event.

I wrote Captive because terrorism is an issue I take very seriously. And, while I don’t condemn or disagree with Islam I do disagree with how it’s being used today (religions don’t kill; people do). And so I had that conversation with someone raised Muslim but no longer practicing (thanks M!). Sidetrack one….

But I also discussed why I addressed terrorism in a novel. Sidetrack two… I referenced The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. The protagonist points out to the struggling writer – who he’s hired to create a new religion – that all major religions have a book that is a narrative, not a list of points or discussion. Why? Because people can connect with a story.

We want to see inside of someone’s thoughts and experience. Only then can we imagine their world and empathize. I can preach all I want but unless you agree with me in the beginning you likely won’t agree at the end. Did we always listen to our parents growing up?

So, I picked an issue and told a story about it. I brought in real people, a few bombs and hopefully some surprises. My ending is controversial but I don’t mind hearing that it’s wrong (Kitty). The fact that someone has an opinion means that the book reached them on an emotional level. Economists have a tougher time reaching their audience on an emotional level than do novelists. Or, perhaps, only good novelists can touch people on an emotional level?

No comments: