Exile: A New Essay By Guy Gavriel Kay

Exile is a recurring theme in Guy Gavriel Kay's novels, and River of Stars (Canada, USA, Europe) was no exception. There is a new essay on the topic by the author on John Sclazi's Whatever. Here's a teaser:

We all have our understanding of human nature and the world. Our themes as writers shift as we change as people and artists (or they should, I think). A motif might drift away, and later re-emerge to be explored differently – because we are different and the world is for us.

I find exile to be one of the most powerful ways to present and explore a character in extremis. The intensity of that. Longing for the homeland. The idea of exile also lets a novelist, if he’s done his or her homework, underscore elements of the society being evoked. Why are people exiled? What does it mean for them? For those left behind?

It also, from a technical, ‘writerly’ perspective, can set up a viewpoint for the reader: if someone is experiencing a new place (cynically, fearfully, arrogantly?), their observations and reactions become a way in for the reader who is, obviously, also ‘away from home’.

Follow this link to read the whole piece.

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