Transcendence over death is one of the oldest themes in literature. Ancient texts dating back thousands of years before the common age and through today’s bestsellers are filled with the heroic and the hopeless attempts at man to become immortal. Whether pulpits for religious moralism, memoirs of mystical sojourns, everlasting love stories, or pure adrenaline-pumping adventure, immortality prevails as one of the most enduring themes of great literature. This is our topic of discussion this week in #litchat.
On Friday, October 14, Alma Katsu joins us as guest host. Her debut novel, The Taker, draws on themes of immortality and eternal love through a 200-year cycle of history beginning in the early 19th century until the present day. When Lanny, hopelessly in love with Jonathan, a man as beautiful as the sun and no less attainable, is exiled to Boston from her small Puritan hometown in Maine, she falls in with the sinister Adair who promises Lanny a means to capture her heart’s desire for eternity. Enduring unspeakable cruelty through the sadistic Adair, the glorious love she’d hoped for with Jonathan is cursed from the beginning. The novel begins in the E.R. of a small Maine hospital, where a weary Lanny is examined by Dr. Luke Findley before sheriffs can take her in for her confession to the murder of a man we learn is Jonathan.
Alma Katsu likes to write stories that pull the reader through a journey that is sweeping in scope, a little dark and a little magical. The Taker, her debut novel, has been described as “an epic supernatural love story” at the crossroads of literary and historical with, as promised, a supernatural twist. She lives in the Washington, DC area, has a MA in fiction from Johns Hopkins University, once studied with John Irving, and counts fairy tales among her greatest influences.
Follow Alma Katsu on Twitter: @almakatsu