Interview With An Author Featuring Nora Gold

Today I am truly honoured to be interviewing Nora Gold. To meet Nora Gold is to feel calm! As a fellow Inanna author, it's always so wonderful to see Nora in person, with her lovely energy.

Not to mention that she is a wonderful writer.

Here's a bit about Nora Gold:
Nora Gold is the prize-winning author of three books. Her novel The Dead Man (2016) was praised internationally, received a Translation Grant from Canada Council for the Arts, and was published in Hebrew in July 2019. Fields of Exile (2014), the first novel about anti-Israelism on campus, won the 2015 Canadian Jewish Literary Award. Marrow and Other Stories won a 1999 Canadian Jewish Book Award and praise from Alice Munro.

Hi Nora, thank you very much for being with me today! Tell us a bit about you, where were you born/grew up at?
I was born, and grew up, in Montreal. A wonderful, bilingual city, which taught me that there are always (at least) two ways to see (or express) anything.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
I love listening to music and strolling in nature. I find a lot of solace in both. So it’s not surprising that music and nature both play a major role in my latest novel, The Dead Man.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve thought of myself as a writer ever since I can remember. Even as a three year old, before I could actually write, I’d sit on the floor of our living room and make up stories (and get very annoyed if interrupted!). These stories were long and quite elaborate. As soon as I learned to physically write, I began writing down my stories, and throughout my childhood never went on a family holiday without bringing along my “writing box,” which contained paper, two pencils, a pencil sharpener, and an eraser.

Tell us a bit about what inspired you to write The Dead Man?
One night I couldn't sleep, so at 3:30 in the morning I went downstairs and started flicking channels on TV. I found myself watching the middle of a movie that I subsequently discovered was called “Play Misty For Me.” This is a 1971 film directed by, and featuring, Clint Eastwood, and it’s about a disc jockey who is being stalked by a female fan who is obsessed with him. I don’t remember much more about it than that, but I do recall my reaction. I watched this young woman stalking this man, and I wondered, What does she think this man – or his love, or admiration – can do for her? What does she think he can give her, or make her into? What belief is underlying this desperate behaviour?

Of course, being a feminist, the answer I came up with was that this young woman lacked feminist consciousness. She doesn't understand, I thought, that her well-being does not (and cannot) depend upon a man, or on any other person. If she knew that, I thought back then, then she wouldn't, couldn't, be obsessed like this with a man. In other words, I understood her obsession to be a failure of consciousness – specifically, feminist consciousness. Of not having the correct understanding of the world, and her place in it.

I’d never really thought about obsession before that. It had never particularly interested me. But now it started percolating at the back of my mind while I did various other things. And as time passed, I revisited my assessment of the young woman in that movie, and decided that my conclusion had been too simple, maybe even simplistic. I realized, from looking around me and from reading a bit about it, that obsessiveness, as a phenomenon, can strike anyone. And that even a feminist – someone with a crystal clear understanding of the sexism in our world – could become obsessed with a man. I found this very intriguing. The complexity of the relationship between the mind (with its ideologies) and the heart (with its own set of beliefs). So that was the genesis of this novel.

Can you tell us a little bit about the main character in The Dead Man?
With pleasure. The main character in The Dead Man is a woman named Eve Bercovitch. Eve is a sensible, intelligent widow, a composer of sacred music, a music therapist, and a mother to two teenage sons. She is also completely obsessed with a world-renowned music critic named Jake, with whom she had a brief relationship she had that ended 5½ years ago. As a music therapist, Eve is well aware of the saying, “Physician, heal thyself,” and she does try to do this. But she just cannot. Even after all this time, she still talks to Jake in her head, sharing with him everything that happens to her. Intellectually she understands perfectly well that she’ll never see him again. But her heart disagrees, she still thinks of Jake as her lover and best friend, and she cannot give him up.

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I write only one book at a time. I have a monogamous temperament and become completely immersed in whatever, or whoever, I am involved with. I can’t even imagine writing more than one book at once.

Thank you very much for being with me today Dear Nora! I haven't yet read The Dead Man but it's going right to the top of my list! I too was fascinated by "Play Misty For Me" – it's wonderful when our insomniac viewing leads to stories of our own! I always tell myself I'm 'doing research' when that happens!

So folks, be sure look up Nora Gold at https://www.inanna.ca/product/dead-man/ or at https://www.noragold.com
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Published on April 30, 2020 07:30
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message 1: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Burfield I wonder if Nora reads one book at a time. After the Ottawa briefing, I’ll read all of the interview. Thank you, Lisa, for featuring authors for all of us to read.


message 2: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Nikolits My pleasure! Thank you!


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