Literarisches Events (in and around Lawrence KS)

  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Thursday, September 11, 7:00 p.m., Spooner Hall, KU Campus.
  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Friday, September 19, 7:00 p.m. Lawrence Public Library. Sponsored by Raven Bookstore.
  • DENNIS ETZEL, JR. & RACHEL CROSS. Lawrence. Thursday, September 25, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • TONY TRIGILIO. Lawrence. Thursday, Oct. 2, 4:00 p.m., English Room, Kansas Union, KU Campus. FREE.
  • CALEB PUCKETT & JUSTIN RUNGE. Lawrence. Thursday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • BEN LERNER. Kansas City, MO. Thursday, October 23, 7:00 p.m., Epperson Auditorium, Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd.
  • KRISTIN LOCKRIDGE & ROBERT DAY. Lawrence. Thursday, December 4, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Don't Nobody With a Good Car NEED Redemption

From an e-mail exchange:

Q: I recently came across your interview with Kathleen Ossip online, and I really appreciated your comment that it is not necessary "to attach redemptive endings to stories that resist it" in talking about your writing and amneoir but I was curious as to why you referred to redemptive endings as an American desire?

A: Obviously, there are stories in all cultures that have redemptive endings (the Christian New Testament, for example). But not every culture insists on them all the time. There's something about US culture that values the story about victory despite the odds, recovery from serious _____, rags to riches, etc. Look at the memoirs on the New York Times Bestseller list, and you'll see what I mean. "I once was lost, but now am found" - the conversion narrative was the first American success story.

This is, of course, why a lot of modern writers write about the other side of things – the tragedies, the injustices, the more complicated and ambiguous stories. Some of them see the "American success story" as being ideology. That's why Theodore Dreiser titled his novel An American Tragedy. That's why Richard Wright wrote Native Son.

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