|Image source includes super juicy literary world gossip. |
Want to know the magic formula for winning the Man Booker award? Look no further!
Other things I learned:
1. Richard Parker was originally going to be a juvenile elephant, not a tiger. But the image of an elephant weighing down one end of a small boat was too silly, so Martel scrapped the idea.
2. Then Richard Parker was almost a rhinoceros. Most people don't know anything about rhinoceroses. That would let Martel make up anything he liked about the species, and readers would believe it all. But rhinoceroses are herbivorous. Can you imagine Pi collecting and drying algae to feed the rhino? Boring!
3. Martel collected so much information about rhinos, he really wanted to write about one. So he decided to put a rhinoceros in his next book. Stay tuned!
4. Martel's writing process is unusual: He prints hundreds of pages worth of research before he begins writing. Then he grabs scissors and cuts these pages to separate the different ideas and concepts. He then takes envelopes--one for each chapter--and puts all the little pieces of research into the proper envelopes. When he's ready to write a chapter, he grabs the corresponding envelope, refers the pertinent research, and he's ready to go. Nice process!
5. Yann Martel was not invited to the Oscars. He was invited to a viewing party in Los Angeles. It wasn't glamorous, but he met some nice realtors there.
|This is not the Richard Parker you are looking for! *|
During the Q&A session, I swallowed my fear of speaking in front of crowds to ask the question about Beatrice & Virgil that has bothered me for over a year: Why was the ending so abrupt? I had my own theories, but I wanted to hear the true reason from the author himself. When I stood up, took the mic, and asked my question, I was terrified! My heart was kicking against my ribs like an angry child.
Martel's answer was so long that my question was the last he took. He didn't answer the question directly, but he talked at length about his reasons for writing about the Holocaust in an unconventional way, and he described how difficult it was to write Beatrice & Virgil. He made a good point: Should women be the only ones who write about sexism or feminism? Should African Americans be the only people who can write about slavery? Shouldn't we all be concerned about these things? Um, yeah. So why should Jewish writers be the only ones allowed to write about the Holocaust? Everyone should be concerned and moved by a human tragedy of that magnitude.
|Shouldn't we all be concerned?! YES. *|