Saturday, April 09, 2022

Q&A with Antoine Wilson

From my Q&A with Antoine Wilson, author of Mouth to Mouth:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

Mouth to Mouth starts with an anonymous narrator bumping into a college acquaintance while waiting out a flight delay at JFK. That acquaintance, Jeff Cook, now a successful art dealer, invites the narrator for a drink in the first class lounge, where he proceeds to unspool the story of his rise, a story that kicks off with his rescuing a drowning man on the beach in Santa Monica. That event—traumatic, heroic, overwhelming—shapes the course of his life to come.

That's the title on a literal level, obviously. But baked into the structure of the novel is the telling of the story itself. How reliable is Jeff? What are his motives for telling our narrator? That’s the second layer, a story that’s transmitted face to face—the Bible uses mouth to mouth at one point to mean this—and a story that’s related second-hand. This book is at least as much about storytelling (the narratives we tell ourselves and those we share with others) as it is about saving a life, so the two meanings...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Antoine Wilson's website and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: Panorama City.

Q&A with Antoine Wilson.

--Marshal Zeringue