here, and if you live in the U.S. or Canada, enter to win a copy!
Goodreads will give you a blurb that tells you something about the plot. This is a novel I wrote in the late nineties and revised several times after that, no let me be real, revised MANY times, so my idea of what it's about has changed over time. Here are some of the ways I might, at different periods of my life, have responded to the question, "What is your book about?"
My book is about me. My book is about a world in which everyone looks like what, in this world, we call people of mixed race. My book contains cultures and languages invented by me so I can't be wrong about them. In Olondrian, I have no accent.
Annie Dillard said writing was "life at its most free"; my book is my life at its most free. It's an epic fantasy because I like that, and it's a travelogue because I like that, and it's a ghost story because I like that, and it's a memoir about reading because I like that.
My book is a fantasy that has very little to do with real life.
My book is a fantasy that has everything to do with real life.
My book is about imperialism and cultural amnesia and language loss and teaching English in Sudan.
My book is about death. It's about being afraid to die young and dying anyway. It's about mothers and fathers and children.
My book is about disappointment and failure. It's about obsessive scholars and awkward travelers and unlikable teenage girls.
My book is about voices that are not heard and that will not be heard even if you try.
My book is about trying anyway.
My book is about haunting and memory and remorse and making your life again and then making it again.
My book is about all these things, and it's about language, what language does and what it can do. It's about language that soothes and exposes and controls, language that frees and murders and creates. My book is embroidered language. "Dar al-Tiraz," like the medieval poetry anthology. The House of Embroidery.
Update: The giveaway is now over and winners have been selected. Congratulations to Wyatt, Heather, Lorrie, Natalie, and branewurms!