Learning about situations, historical events and diverse cultures are among the top reasons why readers spend hours turning the pages of fiction. Lawyers, preachers, motivational speakers and the like use the power of story to give meaning and illustrate important points in their work. This week in #litchat we’re discussing novels that both inform and engage readers to action.
On Friday, January 20, #litchat welcomes Corban Addison, whose debut novel, A Walk Across the Sun (SilverOak), takes on the topic of international sex trade. The novel opens with a harrowing scene of the Boxing Day tsunami that washed through South Asia in 2004. Through this milieu, two of the lead characters, middle-class teenage sisters Ahalya and Sita are orphaned, then kidnapped and sold to a Mumbai brothel. The sisters are eventually separated, with the younger sister smuggled around Europe and America as a drug mule, working slave, and finally sold to a porn producer who operates a posh brothel in rural Georgia. When lead character, ambitious attorney Tom Clarke, is forced by his law firm to take a paid sabbatical working pro bono for a non-governmental organization, he heads to India to work with a firm that tracks and prosecutes human traffickers. The story takes off when Tom’s heart engages with his ambition, taking the reader on a global journey into the shadow world of the sex trades that exist within an arm’s reach of the law.
Addison holds degrees in law and engineering from the University of Virginia and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He began to experiment with writing at the age of fifteen, about the same time he developed an interest in international travel. His early works were mostly essays, reflections and travelogues, but his true love was fiction. Despite the increasing demands of career and family, Addison embarked upon an odyssey that took him to India and Europe and into the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. In immersing himself in the world of modern-day slavery, he spent time with experts and activists in the field and went undercover into the brothels of Mumbai to meet trafficking victims firsthand. Out of this journey, A Walk Across the Sun was born.
Addison is a supporter of international justice causes, including the abolition of modern slavery, and he is committed to broadening this support through the publication of A Walk Across the Sun.
View the video trailer for A Walk Across the Sun.
Follow Corban Addision on Twitter: @CorbanAddision.