Sunday, August 20, 2017

Rachel Kadish

Rachel Kadish is the award-winning author of the novels From a Sealed Room and Tolstoy Lied: a Love Story, as well as the novella I Was Here.

Her latest novel is The Weight of Ink.

Recently I asked Kadish about what she was reading. Her reply:
I’m a huge James Baldwin fan, but somehow until now I’d never read The Fire Next Time. It’s riveting—and Baldwin’s bracing view of America is particularly helpful and timely right now.

There’s something about Baldwin’s voice: the largeness of his perspective, the clarity of his view, the sheer power in his cadences. That power is something I associate with religious text and religious speech, and when a writer is able to harness it for a non-religious my view, that’s as good as it gets. That’s one of the things I’ve always loved about Baldwin, in both his fiction and his essays—the way everything he writes is lit up and suffused by that moral capaciousness and that music, and somehow also a very rare and precious kind of joy.

Here are three quotes from The Fire Next Time.

“…as you will discover, people find it very difficult to act on what they know. To act is to be committed, and to be committed is to be in danger.”

“…a civilization is not destroyed by wicked people; it is not necessary that people be wicked but only that they be spineless.”

“For this is your home, my friend, do not be driven from it; great men have done great things here, and will again, and we can make America what America must become.”
Visit Rachel Kadish's official website.

The Page 69 Test: Tolstoy Lied.

My Book, The Movie: The Weight of Ink.

--Marshal Zeringue