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Review of Man in the Mirror by Phyllis Barber at 15 Bytes. "In the book, when he decides to jump once again on the “bouncer” in his backyard, to do it in the buff because that’s how people were born and are most natural and free (according to his way of thinking), the children of the neighborhood fling their clothes off and join him in the melee. They laugh. They jump. They bounce. All together. His problem, however, is not a small one."
Review of Man in the Mirror by Les Roka at The Utah Review. The novel is set in the beautiful landscape of Salt Lake City and the red-rock desert in Southern Utah. https://www.theutahreview.com/historical-forgetfulness-reclaiming-memory-explored-two-new-utah-novels-inhabited-man-mirror/
SUNDAY BLOG READ is your glimpse into the working minds and hearts of Utah’s literary writers. At least once a month, 15 Bytes offers works-in-progress and / or recently published work by some of the state’s most celebrated and promising writers of fiction, poetry, literary non-fiction and memoir. - http://artistsofutah.org/15Bytes/index.php/sunday-blog-read-zoe-murdock/
Read my article at Ms. Magazine about the Trial of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs: http://msmagazine.com/blog/2011/08/08/warren-jeffs-conviction-exposes-the-coercion-of-polygamy/
Read my interview with Linda Marion at Continuum Magazine: http://continuum.utah.edu/departments/torn-asunder1
Review at Kindle Forum: http://www.kuforum.co.uk/kindleusersforum/thread-3347-post-23743.html#pid23743
Read a blog entry on Torn by God at Letters from A Broad: http://lfab-uvm.blogspot.com/2009/03/difference-vision-can-make-zoe-murdocks.html
As is the case with my novels, Man in the Mirror: A man finding himself as he loses himself to Alzheimer's" and "Torn by God: A Family's Struggle with Polygamy," the focus in my writing has always been on the human mind. My most basic desire is to know how people come to believe what they believe and how those beliefs lead them to act in particular ways. Exploring the depths of another person's mind, with all its intellectual and visceral layers of complexity, is as exciting and stimulating as exploring a foreign country.
Given my fascination with mind, I like to read books that have a unique and idiosyncratic voice. It is not the writer's voice I am looking for, but the voice of the characters who live out their lives on the pages. For me, "voice" is more than just a tone or narrative style: it reflects the movement and subtle nuance of a character's mind, it maps the associative leaps between one experience and the next, it connects the character's sensory experience with a unique perception. Maybe the best way to say it is that everything in such stories is characterization, to one degree or another. Books such as Jane Hamilton's, Book of Ruth, McCourt's Angela's Ashes, and Joyce Carol Oates', Because It Is Bitter and Because It Is My Heart, all have this quality that I so admire.
In my own stories, I try to achieve a high level of psychological realism, moving into the mental space of my characters, and settling in for the duration. Maintaining this kind or realism can be difficult at times. For example, when I was writing from the mind of my 12-year-old narrator in Torn by God, there were things I wanted to say that I couldn't say and still maintain the child's perspective. Still, I felt the innocence of the child narrator was important because it was indicative of the innocence of all the characters in the story. They are all controlled by the voice of their parents, by the voice of their religious leaders, by the voice of their God. So I let the girl see what she could see and let the deeper meaning lie beneath the surface, in the subtext where it belongs. It is there for my readers to find, if they can.
See other reviews and interviews and events related to Torn by God at:www.hotpresspublishing.com/zoemurdock