Tuesday, January 23, 2018

What is Dara Horn reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Dara Horn, author of Eternal Life: A Novel.

Her entry begins:
When friends heard I was writing a novel about a woman who can’t die, they would often recommend books to me that had some connection to immortality. I refused to read any of them while I was writing; I was too nervous about losing confidence in my own work. Now that my book is finished and there’s nothing I can do to change it, I’ve gone back to those recommendations to see what other writers had in mind. My favorite of these was The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara.

It’s a book so strange, and so strangely accomplished, that I hesitate to recommend it to anyone but the most open-minded readers, because I have learned the hard way through my own novels that many readers cannot handle books where the protagonist is the villain. For casual readers who expect entertainment and uplift, an unlikeable narrator is off-putting; a reprehensible one is confounding enough to send them back to the person who recommended the book (or worse, to some online review forum), ranting about how revolting it is and how they will never again blah blah blah. The fact that you’re reading a book blog suggests that you’re above that sort of thing, so I’m just going to say this flat out: The People in the Trees is...[read on]
About Eternal Life, from the publisher:
What would it really mean to live forever? Rachel is a woman with a problem: she can’t die. Her recent troubles—widowhood, a failing business, an unemployed middle-aged son—are only the latest in a litany spanning dozens of countries, scores of marriages, and hundreds of children. In the 2,000 years since she made a spiritual bargain to save the life of her first son back in Roman-occupied Jerusalem, she’s tried everything to free herself, and only one other person in the world understands: a man she once loved passionately, who has been stalking her through the centuries, convinced they belong together forever.But as the twenty-first century begins and her children and grandchildren—consumed with immortality in their own ways, from the frontiers of digital currency to genetic engineering—develop new technologies that could change her fate and theirs, Rachel knows she must find a way out. Gripping, hilarious, and profoundly moving, Eternal Life celebrates the bonds between generations, the power of faith, the purpose of death, and the reasons for being alive.
Learn more about the author and her work at Dara Horn's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 99 Test: The World to Come.

The Page 99 Test: All Other Nights.

The Page 69 Test: A Guide for the Perplexed.

The Page 69 Test: Eternal Life.

Writers Read: Dara Horn.

--Marshal Zeringue