The National Book Awards were announced last week (see the full list of finalists and winners here) and today we'll hear Kerri Miller's conversations with two of the winners.
Louise Erdrich, a Minnesota author, won the National Book Award for fiction for her novel "The Round House." In a recent interview, Erdrich spoke about the inspiration for the book:
The immense difficulty of prosecuting crimes of sexual violence on reservations has haunted me for many years, but I didn't know how to tell the story. I wanted to write it as a suspense novel. How else to include jurisdictional complexity? I didn't want to bore myself. When my main character, Joe, started talking, I knew I had been waiting for him. A writer's gift. Even now I miss writing in his voice and miss working on this book.
The only certainty I had when I started work in 2007 was that there was a lack of depth to the reporting on how India's phenomenal growth was affecting daily lives in low-income communities―and particularly the lives of ordinary women and children. It took two years of immersion and investigative reporting before I began to sense what the larger story might be, so I was fortunate that I had a patient editor―one who shared my belief that starting any reporting project knowing what you'll find is a great way to miss what's really going on.