Here’s a link to a long interview I gave to Guernica magazine, which just went live on their site.
I’m very happy and grateful to be included in the magazine, as I’ve always loved the way their content speaks to arts and politics, not just one or the other. It means they get to the questions, not ideas alone.
I also really enjoyed answering the questions the interviewer, Amanda Dennis, asked me as they helped me question and articulate my feelings on my novel Ezekiel.
Here’ a bit of what they had to say about my book before the questions and answers:
Fanning’s debut novel, Ezekiel, which is full of [such] questions, particularly about the role of the contemporary writer vis-à-vis various social institutions and cultural norms. The book’s way of questioning grows out of Fanning’s encounter with the history of the Languedoc region, especially its history of resistance, both spiritual and political.
Ezekiel’s protagonist, Ezekiel Yusuf Moran, comes of age in Provence in the 1920’s and 30’s. His full name combines Arabic, Jewish, and Irish influences, communicating his position at the crossroads of cultures. In some ways, Ezekiel is a man from nowhere, and his sense of displacement is accentuated by his rejection of French nationalism and his taking up the mantle of the résistants during WWII. But the bulk of the novel takes place in the aftermath of war, and the warm-hearted book plays with the conventions of epic, as Ezekiel crosses postwar Europe, before traveling on to Scotland and Ireland, Mecca and India, in search of the sort of spiritual independence most threatened by (and threatening to) totalitarian regimes. In scope, the novel reaches beyond the 20th century, through its engagement with the ancient Judaic, mystical sect of the Essenes (into which Ezekiel’s father initiates him) and through its portrayal of a disenchantment and political frustration that feel all too timely.