Tonight on Bibliocracy Radio, 8 PM PST on KPFK 90.7 FM and online at www.kpfk.org: SUSAN MINOT. I’m so pleased to host a writer tonight whose work and writing life I --- as so many of her fans --- have followed since publication of her gorgeously fragmented novel-in-stories Monkeys introduced Susan Minot ("mine-it") to readers. She has since then published short stories, novels and screenplays including her acclaimed 1997 novel Evening. In a new book, Thirty Girls, Susan Minot applies her delicately, ecstatically poetic narrative touch to an almost impossibly cruelly quotidian story of the kidnapping of, yes, thirty Ugandan schoolgirls by the crazy cult called the Lord's Resistance Army, famously led by one Joseph Kony. Over many years his sadistic guerilla disciples stole 60,000 or more children from their families as sex slaves and child soldiers, killing many. Many Americans learned about Kony in a documentary film that went viral two years ago.
Minot's fictionalized telling of that
singular episode of the larger story --- which first garnered international
attention in 1996 --- includes the life and journey of the teller, an American
journalist named Jane Wood --- heartbroken, widowed, lost but always
introspective and self-conscious. Susan Minot’s nonfiction has been published
widely, and a story about kidnapped child soldiers in Uganda was
published in McSweeney’s and included
in the Best American Travel Writing 2001.
She is an elegant, sensual, urgently engaged writer of beautiful sentences,
here taking on an almost impossibly difficult crime and making of it art and
insight. Thanks for listening, on the
radio or online live, or whenever you like at the KPFK audio archives, as a
free download. See you at the
Times Festival of Books on the weekend of April 12 & 13, USC campus, where
Bibliocracy Radio will broadcast live 10-11 on Sunday morning. Los