Karen Joy Fowler: 'Imagining a story set in the past is not entirely different from imagining a story set in the future'
The author of Booth talks about science fiction, the impact of Donald Trump and the challenges of writing with a dog on her lap
Karen Joy Fowler is the New York Times-bestselling author of three short story collections and seven novels, including The Jane Austen Book Club.
The Jane Austen Book Club, Fowler’s fifth novel, was adapted into a film of the same name and released in 2007. Her seventh novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014, won the PEN/Faulkner Prize and has sold over a million copies. Fowler was born in Bloomington, Indiana, and spent the first eleven years of her life there before her family moved to Palo Alto, California. She later attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in political science.
What shapes us? And who gets to choose the stories we tell about our place in the world? With an eagle eye and a bone-dry wit, Fowler introduces the Booths, a 19th-century family forged by theatrical ambition and agonising grief within a household steeped in the racism and myth-making of the disunited States. As the novel unfolds, we know - and they don’t - that one day the ninth child, John Wilkes, will step forward with a gun in his hand to bring the narratives of dynasty and country decisively together.— The 2022 judges on Booth