At the Miami Book Fair International, The Takeaway gathered five novelists to discuss their experiences with love. Christopher Beha's novel "What Happened to Sophie Wilder" explores the conflicts between religious and romantic love. Jami Attenberg's most recent novel, "The Middlesteins" follows the travails of a dysfunctional but loving Midwestern family across three generations.
In "Wingshooters," Nina Revoyr explores themes of justice, loyalty, prejudice, and love in a small town in Wisconsin. Robert Goolrick tells the story of the aftermath of a big love in a small town. And the protagonist of Scott Hutchins' novel, "A Working Theory of Love," works for a tech company which is using his deceased father's diaries to program a computer to simulate human intelligence.
"To me, love is the most elusive thing in the world when you don't have it," Robert Goolrick says. "And then, when you do have it, it is so inevitable that it seems impossible that it wasn't always there."
"We're also talking about love as a kind of static state," Scott Hutchins says. He argues that, if love is a magic trick, it is a magic trick we must keep pulling off, everyday.
But Jami Attenberg did not want to have a dispassionate or academic conversation. "This is love that we're talking about here," Attenberg says. "It's very messy…and dangerous, and exciting, and passionate, and sexy."
Head over to our Love and Death page for more on each of the writers, and to hear the first part of the discussion on writing about death.