We’re all really looking forward to spending some time with Michael Martone this week. In honor of his visit, I’d like to share this interview I did with him for the radio station WFIU, our local NPR affiliate. Michael and I talked for a long time about the new series of books about Indiana and the Midwest that he’s co-editing with another formidable Midwest writer, Susan Neville, for IU Press. Here’s an excerpt from the audio:
The process of leaving a place and re-creating it in a piece of fiction, Martone says, is “probably the big American issue.”
“The big American drama has to do between two worldviews that we hold as Americans—not just Midwesterners or Hoosiers. We really believe in what we call ‘small-town values,’ ‘family values,’ but we also believe in our incredible freedom to move—both spatially and also economically—that we can move up in class and rank. But the truth is, in our country, that mobility won out. And so there’s this kind of lost limb feeling that I think we all have: There is that longing, still, for that other America.”
We’re so pleased to be collaborating with IU Press and Boxcar Books this week in hosting Michael’s visit to Bloomington. We hope those of you who’ll be in the area will drop by the reading at Boxcar, October 5 at 7 pm.