Interview with Allyson Latta

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Kids get away with murder

I just finished reading a review of my husband's new book Black Rabbit and other stories. Reviews are reviews and as writers we take the good with the bad - as writers we have to, on every level. But there's a specific aspect of this review that rankles me. The stories in Black Rabbit at times depict a reality that many a reviewer may not relate to as they tap away on their laptops in the comfort of their cushy homes, after eating a meal, drinking a cool glass of healthy milk. In our society there are certain members of it who like to deny that shit like what graces the pages of Sal's book doesn't happen or that it happens and the perpetrators learn from their mistakes or are punished for them or somehow without support systems, healthy families, financial stability turn over a new leaf and become socially acceptable human beings - unfortunately some people's lives aren't like that and kids do get away with murder. The system is set up that way. Certain writers are effected by what goes on around them more than to them. For many, expressing this effect on the page is a way to exercise the demons and injustices of life, of the unfathomable events that are happening all around us and although fictional the honesty, the truth of the matter, is what prevails. Imagine if Jerzy Kosinsky or Isaac Bable wrote idealistic versions of The Painted Bird or The Red Cavalry - imagine if we all wrote what people wanted to hear, imagine if the world became fully devoid of empathy, and honesty, and ultimately imagination because after all what is a story? Kids, people, get away with murder and unfortunately so do reviewers.

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