Words on Words: An Interview with 2014
At the start of the New Year and we feel fortunate to bring you an exclusive Daily Bulldog interview with the Year 2014 herself!
Kenny: Happy New Year and congratulations on your new appointment!
The Year 2014: Happy New Year to you Kenny. I'm very excited to be back.
Kenny: Back!? Aren't you a new year?
The Year 2014: Yes and no. you see 2014 is a TO year.
Kenny: A TO year?
The Year 2014: Temporal Overlay. As you may know historical time is more like a blanket than a simple straight line. It does extend across a distance, but it also true that it has wrinkles, creases, and seams. When an incoming year has a close proximity to a past year the incoming year is affected, and partly given shape, by its predecessor. The Council of Years allows its member representing the older Year to volunteer to serve as the upcoming Year in such a case. I did so and was chosen.
Kenny: What was your original year?
The Year 2014: 916.
Kenny: 916 eh? What happened of note in 916?
The Year 2014: Well, for one thing, Aethelfleda, the Lady of the Mercians, led an army into Wales, stormed Brecknock; and there took the king's wife, and thirty four others captive. What a scene that was! 916 was also, I might add, a big year for the Khitan Empire. That rascal Ambagyan, eh!
Kenny: I see. And how do you see your experience from 916 impacting 2014?
The Year 2014: Oh that wasn't too obvious a question. Don't be such a bore.
Kenny: Now now. I think people will want to know.
The Year 2014: Oh all right. The truth is that I don't know. It will have an impact, but how will only be apparent in retrospect. Such is the way of things. People have decisions to make, what to read, where to shop, whether to live in the light of the sun, and the company of their neighbors, or to turn their faces away. And those decision matter all the more for knowing their weight, but not their result.
Kenny: I see! Thank you. Now speaking of decisions. What should people be looking to read right now? What were your top picks from among last year's books?
The Year 2014: I don't want to talk about the Year 2013's books, I want to talk about what's coming our in my Year.
Kenny: Three things. First, we'll get there. Second, people need to read books that have already been published, not just wait for good new ones. Third, do you want the Year 2015 to show you this kind of neglect?
The Year 2014: Oh what a namby pamby you are. Very well. The two novels I personally enjoyed most were The Bone Season and The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic. Both book reveal much about juxtaposed perspectives and the importance of maintaining personal integrity under duress. They are exciting and intellectually engaging, attributes I both prize and share.
Kenny: Is see. Well those were two terrific books I agree. What about Non Fiction?
The Year 2014: Frozen in Time appealed to me, for obvious reasons. I know just how that Grumman Duck felt beneath the ice. I'm also a big fan of Joe Sacco's amazing The Great War. Talk about a showstopper.
Kenny: It is! Interesting. I can see where the accordion like format would speak to you. Any others to mention?
The Year 2014: The Council of Years attempted to stop the publication of Lexicon. It revealed too much. But since it got out you might as well read it. Beyond that I felt that it was a particualry good year for picture books. Battle Bunny, of course. But I also loved Paul and Bernadette, Sophie's Squash, and Captain Cat. These books all provide humor, warmth, great storytelling, and wonderful illustrations. Once Upon a Memory, like The Quiet Book before it, takes a single concept and explores it with a series of variations perfectly captured by Renata Liwska's illustrations. Delightful!
Kenny: Great choices! All right then on to books coming out in 2014. Are there any outstanding new authors debuting in 2014?
The Year 2014: There are! Now take Sally Green's Half Bad. That's what I call a great book. And so well authored. It reminds me of myself. Shrewd, tough, visceral, spare, tightly focused.
Kenny: Self appreciative?
The Year 2014: You know I don't think she is. Well you can't have everything I suppose. Two other terrific books are Alexandra Duncan's Salvage and Rohan Gavin's Knightley and Son. Salvage is a brilliantly constructed, socially conscious drama set in a future in which long distance, commercial, space travel has given rise to self enclosed, morally constricted traditional societies. It's heart wrenching and refreshingly feminist. Knightley and Son is big fun. A father and son detective team, an evil secret organization, and a lot of well aimed humour balancing some sneakily well developed characters.
Kenny: Hmmn. Those do sound good. Thanks. Is there anything else you can reveal about your Year?
The Year 2014: I will, if you promise to cast me in a good light in this interview.
Kenny: I'll do what I can.
The Year 2014: Well an organization whose true nature, and which is in fact the great enemy of The Council of Years, will publish a best selling book. If their ruse is not detected the results will be catastrophic.
Kenny: Gads. How about a bit more of a hint.
The Year 2014: I've given a giant hint already.
Kenny: Well then! Thanks Year 2014! I appreciate your spending some time with us and sharing your thoughts.
The Year 2014: It was my pleasure Kenny, have a wonderful year.