Local author Jacob Paul book reading | Buzz Blog

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Local author Jacob Paul book reading

Posted By on April 15, 2010, 8:24 AM

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Local U and Westminster creative writing professor and novelist Jacob Paul will be reading tonight at Ken Sanders Rare Books--- (268 S. 200 East, 801-521-3819, Thurs., April 15, 7:00 p.m.) from his newly published fiction novel, Sarah/Sara (Ig , ships May 1, 2010, preorder at local book stores). He has a few more readings in the area before he goes on tour by bike around the country. 

What's a Jacob Paul book reading like?
I read, then I sign books. I try not to read too quickly, or too slowly. People drink wine. That lubricates the Q&A some. When I go on the road next month, I'll cut my reading from half an hour to twenty minutes and make up the time with a slideshow about touring by bicycle.

Describe the book in a nutshell.

Bridgette Jones Diary except the heroine is an ultra-orthodox Jewish woman who survived a terrorist attack that killed her father and is now kayaking through the arctic, by herself, which was her dad's retirement dream, grappling with the fact that her religiosity may have gotten her parents killed. If she stops rowing, she'll die. Maybe that isn't anything like Bridgette Jones Diary.

How might it be relevant to Salt Lakers?

Well, I think it's relevant to Americans, in that its ultimately about my generation's search for meaning. It is, though, specifically resonant here, because it deals with the implications of the search for meaning and the impulse towards religion and it does that against a backdrop of wilderness adventure.

How does the concept of faith find itself in many of your works?

Cormac McCarthy said that the job of good writing was to deal with life and death. I don't think that works unless it's done so against a backdrop of some quest for meaning. Questions of faith are an accessible way to access that.


Why choose for the main character Sarah to gain religion, instead of, say, falling out of religion?

Mainly, because I left religion. I wanted to complicate my own understanding of the impulse to it, and the only way I could think to do so was to write a character who becomes religious.

How can outdoor adventures mirror the inward, existential adventure, as related to Sarah?

Internal adventures are abstract and hard to resolve, both intellectually and narratively. Outdoor adventure gives form and substance to fear and desire.

Talk about the process of writing this book, such as becoming Sarah through ink.

Check this out: 

And, how about having your first book published?

That's a novel in and of itself. All I can say is that the folks over at Ig give me hope.

Finally, tell us about the bike tour.

I'll start in Seattle with a reading at Elliott Bay Books on June 2 and ride south to San Francisco where I'll read at The Booksmith on the 23rd. I'll do readings in Olympia, Portland and elsewhere along the way. Then I fly (I know, cheating) to Burlington, VT, read there the first week of July, and continue down the east coast by bicycle.

On Topic...

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