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June 24, 2013
Ms. Magazine Interviews Masha Hamilton
Masha Hamilton, author of the recently released What Changes Everything is interviewed by Ms. Magazine about her new novel. The article entitled A Firsthand Novel of Surreal Afghanistan, includes a brief review of the book as well as a short history of Ms. Hamilton’s accomplishments, Meg Waite Clayton, the article writer, goes on to a question and answer type session.
Below is the first question and answer of the article…
Ms. Blog: Several of the interwoven narratives of What Changes Everything start in a simple way: Todd decides he wants ice cream. If he hadn’t, his story—and Clarissa’s and therefore Danil’s and Stela’s, too—might be completely different. Yet this beginning is the place where another author might have ended a novel. How did you end up beginning with this small moment that does change everything?
Masha Hamilton: Small moments do change everything—we’ve all experienced that. The difference in a place of war and chronic violence, like Afghanistan, is that the changes brought by a seemingly inconsequential choice, a mere moment of attention or inattention, are often more cataclysmic. Todd doesn’t want to be constrained by security concerns; he wants to take a short walk and eat some ice cream. Simple enough. Later, though, in captivity, he is forced to question his choice. He bears outsized, unanticipated responsibility—to himself, to others—for acting on a very modest desire.
On a secondary note, I do think, as Todd notes, Afghan ice cream is delicious, a miracle in a land that badly needs miracles.
To read the entire interview on the Ms. Magazine Blog website, click here.
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