Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Day 17 of 31 books in 31 days- Swati Avasthi book giveaway & qualify to win a kindle

Welcome to the 17h day of 31 books in 31 days, where you win prizes for reading.

Recap of Rules

Everyday that you participate in the giveaway of the day, you are eligible to win a brand new kindle.

How to participate
  a) Subscribe via email, so you can get the author & prize of the day sent directly to your email.
  b) Like the author of the day on facebook
  c) Follow the author on Twitter
  d) Read any of the author's books
  e) Answer the occasional quiz on author's interview
  f) Scroll to the bottom of each interview and enter the raffle (you'll have to unlock the raffle with your email first)

That's it- then enter the kindle giveaway!

All giveaways will be sent out by the 7th day in April. Good Luck.

Today's author of the day is Swati Avasthi. Swati is an award winning novelist that brings light to abuse and its effect on the abuser. Her interesting take on violence experienced as a kid, sheds light on how the abused can become the abuser. Her release Split, is our featured novel of the day.

Featured Book

 A riveting portrait of life after abuse from an award-winning novelist. Sixteen-Year-Old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father’s fist), $3.84, and a secret. He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school, and a new job, but all his changes can’t make him forget what he left behind—his mother, who is still trapped with his dad, and his ex-girlfriend, who is keeping his secret. At least so far. Worst of all, Jace realizes that if he really wants to move forward, he may first have to do what scares him most: He may have to go back.

                                                     Interview with Swati

 1) What is your favorite part of the reading experience?

 It's hard to choose, but living vicariously through another person's perspective in their world and time is probably what I love the most.

 2) What types of books do you read on your spare time?

 I read a lot of different kinds of books: YA, graphic novels, adult literary fiction, nonfiction, memoir, craft books, just started reading Manga. I believe that there are two characteristics of all the writers I've known: 1) endless determination and 2) endless curiosity. That means I'll pretty much read anything with interest.

 3) What is the last book that you read that impacted you? How did it affect you and has any of that carried into your writing?

 I loved E. Lockhart's We Were Liars. I was particularly taken by the way Cadance slipped between reality and metaphor and I've found that that seems really appropriate for my character for my next book. It seems like something I'm really interested in as a writer. My second novel, CHASING SHADOWS, had a lot to do with slipping between reality and fantasy and in my third, my current work in progress, I find myself being more deliberate about the timing of my metaphors.

 4) I read an interview recently where you eluded to the role of culture in literature. You mentioned book that didn’t resonate with you, because of the presentation of the hero and how his advent strengthened cultural paradigms that you disagreed with. Can you tell us about a book that got it right? How do you use culture in your books to strengthen your narration, if at all?

 It is always dangerous for an author to criticize a book and I don't know what the context was, but yes, certain books resonate more with my philosophical view than others. Which only means that, like all other readers, there are books out there that aren't for me. I suspect that you are referring to notions of how women or races are treated in narratives because that is often a sticking point for me as a reader. So books here are some of the YA novels I've read in the last couple of years that resonate with me: Bad Apple by Laura Ruby, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick your Ass by Meg Medina, This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, Blankets by Craig Thompson, and Boxers & Saints by Gene Yang,

 I'm not sure I use culture in my books, but I do think that all writers create culture through their books. We have the honor and responsibility to share our views with our readers. I don't necessarily mean to write books that are feminist, but I am a feminist and so my world view comes through in my writing. SPLIT, for instance, might not seem like a book that is about feminism or race and in many ways it isn't, but if you read it carefully, you might see evidence of both of those philosophies through how the story is framed. For instance, I chose to write about a boy in domestic violence. A male narrative that isn't told as much which is a shame. and because boys in DV situations are usually at least half the picture of domestic violence. Often they are victims and that story isn't told frequently. If you want to think about DV seriously, you need to think about how men learn and unlearn violence, whether they are perpetrators or victims or both.

 I also set the problem of domestic violence in a white, upper class family because again, the media often treats domestic violence as though it doesn't happen in white, upper class families, but it does. So I think my views on culture affect the way I conceive of and create stories, but not in how the stories are plotted out. I mean to say, my stories are not about lessons or After School Specials, but about characters and their questions. I don't offer answers or didactic take aways.

 5) Why do you write YA books? What interests you about the genre?

 I always find this question interesting because it seems to me that people who write for adults aren't ever asked "Why do you write adult literary fiction?" as though that is the norm and if you write for kids you are somehow either being noble or immature. The questions reveals a sort of schism we have in our culture.

We love our kids and will do anything for them but we also don't respect our kids. We believe that what we expose our children to will determine, in part, who they will become, but we also believe we don't expose them to the best that literature has to offer. In fact, I think we do. If you read Where the Wild Things Are by Sendak you might notice how deep a reading you can get from it. You can read it for the simple story of how a kid feels through a tantrum. Or you can read it a lesson for a parent: what you give to your children is what they will give to the world. (Notice that lesson is for the adult, not for the child). Or you can read it as a commentary on colonialism (white men have the right to conquer barbarian wild things), gender studies (boys will be boys), or employ a Freudian reading (the id plays, the superego objects, and eventually the ego moderates). It seems to me that good literature is as much about what the reader can bring to it as the levels the writer has offered.

 I write YA because the protagonists are making themselves and that interests me. How we make and remake our identities is endlessly fascinating and feels like an important journey to me.

 6) What was the last book you read that really made you think or made an impact on your life? How did it affect you and why?

 I'm not sure which was the last one, but I'd say Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children affects me. It gives a particular and conflicted voice to partition (the division in 1947 between India and Pakistan) that I find really compelling. It is about the creation and dissolution of the identity of countries and about how when divide ourselves into compartments, we lose something. It felt like a powerful statement to me about how complicated it is to bring our whole selves to any situation.

 7) What is the premise behind Split? What makes it different from other books out there?

 SPLIT is about a 16 year old boy, Jace Witherspoon, who gets kicked out of his on the night he dares to hit his father back. He drives off to see his brother, Christian, who he hasn't seen or talked to in 5 years, and shows up on Christian's door step with a few bucks, a face full of bruises, and a secret. It is different in that it about a boy, or really two boys, who are recovering from abuse, the different paths that take, and how complicated it is to form a family.I think it distinguishes itself because its what happens after you get out, the long road to recovery, and how masculinity get defined and redefined as Jace learns what it means to be a man.

  Other Books by Swati Avasthi

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

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