One of last year’s memorable reads was Kaaron Warren’s Walking the Tree. Perhaps because it is a much different book from Slights, but it seems to me that there wasn’t as much buzz around this book. What I like most about Kaaron’s work is how versatile it is. Kaaron’s short fiction collection, Through Splintered Walls gives us a taste of how visceral and discomforting (in a good way) her work is, but her full-on collection entitled Dead Sea Fruit (Ticonderoga Publications) gives the reader a broader view of the range and the reach of Kaaron’s voice. If you’re a lover of short dark fiction, I would definitely recommend either of these collections.
But back to Walking the Tree–which is, I admit, a strong contender for my favorite among Kaaron Warren’s works. Before the blog went on it’s hiatus, I contacted Kaaron and asked her for an interview where we talked about Walking the Tree, the process she went through in writing it and things in the works. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.
Walking the Tree is a much different novel from Slights. I really liked this difference and I loved the world of the Tree as well as your beautifully drawn characters. Would you like to share a bit about the inspiration for the world of the Tree?
The original idea came from a number of different sources. Most directly, I was watching a documentary about ancient objects and was struck with the thought that these things sit there, well beyond human understanding, interpretation and memory. That they exist long after their original meaning is lost. In the end, there is a disconnect between the object and its origin.
I thought that stories are this way as well; they are told and re-told, changed, adapted, edited and censored.
The image of the island came to me fully formed, with the giant, ancient Tree at its centre and people clustered in groups around it. I saw a woman walking the tree, although at that stage I didn’t know why. Continue reading