Friday, March 3, 2017

Christina Baker Kline

Christina Baker Kline is the author of the novel A Piece of the World (2017), about the relationship between the artist Andrew Wyeth and the subject of his best-known painting, Christina’s World. Kline has written five other novels — Orphan Train, The Way Life Should Be, Sweet Water, Bird in Hand, and Desire Lines — and written or edited five works of nonfiction.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Kline's reply:
Recent Read: Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

This novel is wide-ranging, fierce, and deep. The language sings; the magical-realist railroad is a spectacular fiction. The densely lyrical and poetic images, combined with concrete details, make the story leap off the page. I admire the discipline of Whitehead's restraint: in presenting slavery so matter-of-factly, he reveals the horrific impact of its devastation. I plan to re-read this novel — no doubt several times — to try to understand how he pulled it off.

Inspiration when creating a location: Room, by Emma Donoghue

Nearly half of this stunning novel takes place in an 11-foot by 11-foot bunker. A woman who’s been kidnapped lives in it with her five-year-old son, a result of rape by her captor and the narrator of the story. When the boy manages to escape, the entire world as he knows it is transformed (and not just for the better). When I was writing A Piece of the World, I was particularly interested in how Donoghue wrote from a child’s perspective about confinement and how deftly she showed that any setting can be fertile ground for a child’s imagination and creativity.

Book I always return to: The Hours, by Michael Cunningham.

I can open it at random and find inspiration on any page.
Visit Christina Baker Kline's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Christina Baker Kline & Lucy.

--Marshal Zeringue