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BLOG: Writers of the Lost Arc

"Saving Mr. Banks," and the psychic burdens children carry

Oh, the things you'll tell a blogger you've never met that you wouldn't tell your mother or friend.

Deborah Kalb asked how I came to write about a certain character in my novel. Here's what I answered. " Then there’s Mustafa, an Arab janitor on the Temple Mount with a horrible case of torticollis – his neck twists permanently over one shoulder. Somehow this man so different from myself wandered into my creative unconscious and I had no idea why.

But then I recently saw the wonderful movie, "Saving Mr. Banks," and it touched so many chords in me. It becomes clear that Travers wrote Mary Poppins to save her talented drunk of a father. She carries the psychic burden of her father’s failures and it weighs heavily on her. My father’s life, his struggles, also weighed heavily on me. Like Mustafa, he suffered from a strange physical deformity – he was missing an ear from a car accident as a child.  Read More 
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"A crop of superb novels by younger writers keen to edge their fading elders from the spotlight"

I'm happy my novel was included in the Wall Street Journal's overview of the best novels of the year. It's a provocative article. Here's the link, but if you're not a WSJ subscriber, I cut and pasted it below.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304367204579268303742637632

The Year in Fiction 2013
A crop of superb novels by younger writers keen to edge their fading elders from the spotlight.
by Sam Sacks

Nothing better encapsulates the state of fiction at the end of 2013 than the hoary motif of Father Time and Baby New Year. On one side are the old, the established, the reverenced; on the other, the young and fresh-faced, squalling for recognition and eager to nudge their elders from the spotlight. They will do it soon if the past 12 months were any indication.

No reading year is without disappointments, but it's noteworthy that in 2013 almost all of them came from A-list novelists whose books failed to warrant the attention they attracted.  Read More 
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