79 The Way We Are Now
Sometimes the novelist is like an anthropologist, trying to understand the motives and implications of human behaviour that seem to have been ripped from the daily headlines. Celebrities like Meryl Streep and Neil Young wander into the action in Marni Jackson’s novel, as she reflects upon a culture where stars have invaded our psyches. Owen Laukkanan’s latest thriller centres on a young man who encourages other teenagers to take their own lives. Jennifer Manuel explores the growing awareness of a nurse retiring after 40 years in a remote West Coast First Nations community. Zoe Whittall’s fictional family is shocked and angry after the father, a teacher, is charged with sexual assault. Four fine writers talk about how to handle hot topics without getting burned.