Author Q Yann Martel and Claudia Casper talk moving beyond trauma
Yann MartelA: It’s a novel in three connected parts set in Portugal at three different times of the 20th century. Once again I use animals as narrative vehicles, as I did in Life of Pi. I’m looking at how we deal with suffering, the tools we have at our disposal to help us through adversity. That sounds programmatic. It’s not. As always when I’m writing, I’m imbued with a sense of wonder. I love bringing together elements that you wouldn’t think would go together for example, the murder mysteries of Agatha Christie and the Gospels and seeing the imaginative alchemy that takes place.Q: Many of your characters undergo difficult life experiences that leave them feeling lost, alone, and searching for meaning, often in faraway places. What do you hope readers will take away from your characters’ epic journeys, and is it possible to recover from trauma without a sense of adventure, whether real or imagined?AWhat an excellent question! I have no specific hopes about what readers will take away from this novel beyond an image here, a thought there, a little something that makes them see the world in a different way. As for trauma recovery and adventure, I wonder if one can move beyond trauma without continuing on the epic journey that is a trauma to start with. Whether the recovery is achieved in a “real” adventure say, a trip to India or an imagined one the reading of a novel set in India either way, you’ve got to keep moving.A: So this is my third novel. The first was about evolution, the second reproduction and gender conflict, and this one is about war and our future as a species. It is the story of Allen (Mercy) Quincy, a soldier who has been coping with PTSD for the past twenty years by living a shrunken life as a vehicular officer. The year is 2047 and society is reforming itself after catastrophic global repercussions from climate change. Into Quincy’s tightly controlled world walks a mysterious, nearly feral woman wearing red shoes. She brings him back to life but in doing so risks not only his equilibrium but his very life. peacekeeping mission to Rwanda at the time of the genocide. His determination to talk openly about the symptoms of PTSD, symptoms that struck me as a profoundly human response to horror, moved and inspired me.Q: What do you hope readers will take away from your characters’ epic journeys, and is it possible to recover from trauma without a sense of adventure, whether real or imagined?A: Ideally, grandiosely, I want readers to come away with a Darwinian, Shakespearean, adidas supercolor Tolstoyan experience of themselves participating in the making of this tiny super nova that is human civilization. In my experience, when we are traumatized we retreat to a safe place to heal and leave only through unbearable boredom or when the world pounds insistently on our door and demands we show up again for life.Allen Quincy responds to trauma by shrinking his world to the smallest, most controlled existence he can create. The hatches of his soul’s boat are shut tight. In the first journal, Ruby and the spark of sexual desire pry him open “like an oyster shucker” and in the second, his brother’s ravenous nihilism forces him into action. Free.The Ottawa bridge collapse that shocked the worldGeorge Davis peered over the edge of the bridge to his co worker, Mike Graham. wonder if a person would survive if he fell off this thing, he said. Graham said doubted it. It was almost a 20 metre drop, like jumping off a five storey building. It was just after three in the afternoon of Aug. The thick scrapbook in her hands was dusty Wolff doesn look at it very often and she shook her head disapprovingly.