CS: First question–Maybe it’s too tedious or too politically correct to mention it, but the racebending in this book is more convoluted than the genderbending in a performance of “As You Like It” during the Elizabethan era. What does it mean to be a white person writing a mixed race man who deals with intrusive Stupid White People questions about his life and art? What does it mean for you to write a mixed race character who notices a paucity of other people of color in the spaces that he’s in, or gets tired of children asking what exactly he is?Read more.
The Correspondence Artist
Vivian, a writer and single mother living in New York, finds herself involved with an internationally famous, intensely charismatic art star. As the affair progresses, she begins to narrate the story of their not-quite-love by quoting her correspondence. But who is the recipient of Vivian’s affection and emails? It depends on which version of Vivian’s story you prefer. She describes her lover, variously, as a Nobel Prize-winning Israeli novelist named Tzipi, a Vietnamese enfant terrible video artist named Binh, a Basque separatist activist named Santuxto, and a Malian rock star named Djeli. This kaleidoscopic approach allows Vivian to maintain an ironic remove from her seduction, her disappointments and triumphs, and even her heartbreak, but it also grants the reader an intimate glimpse at the soul of a relationship, rendered more vividly universal due to being partially obscured.