Get Lit 2008

This Thursday, in Newton Centre, the Jewish books Web site JBooks will team up with JVibe, a magazine for Jewish teens, to present Get Lit 2008, a literary event in Newton Centre. The event, which will take place at the Union Street Restaurant and bar, will feature conversations with several Massachusetts-based authors, including Jon Papernick, the current writer-in-residence at Emerson College.  

I reached Papernick, author of the novel Who by Fire, Who by Blood, by email yesterday, and asked him a couple of questions. 

PHX: Obviously the ethnic and political conflicts in the Middle East and in the United States heavily inform your work. What role do you think art – specifically, literature – plays or can play in the evolution (or resolution) of international conflicts?

JP: I'm not certain that  literature plays any role in the evolution or resolution of international conflicts. It's hard to imagine that those holding the reins of power have any idea that most of us writers exist, and they certainly don't have the time to read our works. I think it's a little vain to think that a book can change the world, particularly considering that readership in North America is in the midst of a slow and steady decline.

On the other hand, I think that literature can hold a mirror up to the world and reflect it back in a more human and less biased way than one might see pictured in the media. In that sense, I think that literature represents a truer history of the world we live in than many of the media accounts.

PHX: Are you looking forward to critiquing your published work in front of an audience? What are you most nervous about? What do you think the audience can learn from that experience?

JP: Actually, I am not going to be critiquing a published work in front of an audience on Thursday, but something I self published when I was 19 years old, and that is truly more terrifying than sharing anything that was ever published legitimately.

I'm really most nervous about showing how terrible a writer I actually was at the age of 19. In fact, many of my students Emerson college are significantly better writers than I was at that age, and that is what I think people can learn from this: Stick with it and hone your craft and don't give up, and one day, your work may be published.


Coming up -- a similar short Q&A with another author who'll appear at Union Street: Tova Mirvis.

| More

 Friends' Activity   Popular 
All Blogs
Follow the Phoenix
  • newsletter
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • youtube
  • rss
Latest Comments
Search Blogs
PageViews Archives