Pratima: “When I first started writing the novel, like twenty years ago, Laura had thrown caution to the winds and accepted a part in a local production of A Midsummer Nights Dream. The play has this crazy effect on her, and she begins exploring aspects of herself that she had never considered before because of the limitations that her strict church puts on her and on women in general. It was a cool storyline, but it just didn’t quite work. Also, the novel used to have multiple narrators: Andrew, Marcia, and Sara. Ultimately, the novel was Andrews. It’s his story. I just had to commit to him and go for it.”
“He seemed as he stood there to see all his age, its tumultuous life, its iron certainties and rigid conventions, its repressed emotion and facetious humor, its cautious science and incautious religion, its corrupt politics and immutable castes, as the great hidden enemy of all his deepest yearnings. That was what had deceived him: and it was totally without love or freedom…but also without thought, without intention, without malice, because the deception was in its very nature; and it was not human, but a machine. That was the vicious circle that haunted him; that was the failure, the weakness, the cancer, the vital flaw that had brought him to what he was: more an indecision than a reality, more a dream than a man, more a silence than a word, a bone than an action. And fossils!
“He had become, while still alive, as if dead.
“It was like coming to a bottomless brink” (p 363).