Thursday, June 29, 2017

Historical fiction hits Main Street: Kate Quinn, Jennifer Robson, Janie Chang

Last evening, Tracy Sherlock interviewed three authors about the historical fiction. The event was held at The Book Warehouse on Main Street. The trio will appear in Whistler tonight.

Dragon Springs Road is set in Shanghai and portrays the trials of an orphaned Eurasian girl in the 1930s. Vancouverite Janie Chang (right) discussed her research and explained how the fox spirit of popular culture in China got into her latest novel. She also mentioned that although female Fox deities were socially "demoted," they still challenged gender roles. 

Torontonian Jennifer Robson (centre), whose books are set in WWI and WWII England, also discussed her research. To fill in detail for Goodnight from London, she consulted many and varied sources, including her own PhD thesis, an oral history project she did at Oxford University some years ago. She also spoke with affection and admiration about the real journalist who once worked for The Province. Her late grandmother inspired the fictional journalist in the book. 

Californian Kate Quinn enjoys writing about "female bad-assery." The Alice Network, her latest work, portrays female spies from both world wars. Its author engaged the audience with anecdotes. She related how her librarian mother provided a list of "good WWII massacres" she could use to get rid of a certain character, and then revealed how on the road, she and Jennifer helped each other disentangle story problems. "We can't fix our own plot problems, but we can fix other people's," she said. 

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