I enjoy author events where authors read from their newly published works. In the Q&A authors are asked about their process. I always learn something that adds a perspective for my reader self.
When buying the book, even when unsure that I will read it through, I still get to be a patron of the arts for only $20.00 or so.
Truth is, I don’t read many books. My budget of reading hours gets used up on internet newsletters, forums, and blogs. Sometimes I stumble across a whirlpool of magazines, and I get caught in the eddies for a few hours.
When I found my way to the October meeting of the Atlanta Writers Club, I was rewarded with a reading of The Submission by Amy Waldman. Published in March of 2012, it has collected some heady kudos, and I found it a provocative read.
The book is set in New York two years after the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers, and the story begins as a jury is in final deliberations for the selection of a memorial to be erected at ground zero. When the selection majority is reached, the envelope containing the name of the designer of the winning submission is opened: Mohamed Khan, a Muslim. And on this hangs the tale.
The Submission examines grief through the eyes and hearts of dozens of people. Readers are lured into the minds of dozens of agendas. The book tugs at emotions of survivors.
Waldman winds her way through a tangled web of dialogues, interactions, and hidden agendas. Her characters speak the words of the total spectrum of points of view. Emotions peal from bell towers. Convictions line up like cannons.
Aside from the good quality yarn-spinning of the story lines, my takeaway was a restatement of one of my oldest operating principles. What people think of as Truth is so heavily influenced by their personal environment, their family/community/national/religious culture, that there is no Truth in any universal sense—merely what feels right to each individual.
Facts are easier to pin down, although they are subject to manipulation.
Truth is fact as interpreted (manipulated) by someone and often adopted by others..
Justice is . . . don’t get me started.