Janni Visman studied film at the London College of printing and mixed media at the Slade School of Fine Art. She is the author of two novels, Sex Education and Yellow. She lives in London.
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Janni Visman discusses her first novel, Yellow
In providing a map of Stella's apartment at the beginning of the book,
you exhibit a great deal of authorial control before the story even begins.
Why did you feel it was necessary for readers to see the physical
construction of the place as you pictured it, rather than leaving it up to
their own imaginations?
It was to do with remembering books I read as a child that had maps outlining the world in which the story took place. (X marks the spot.) In the case of Yellow, the map serves as an introduction to the limits of Stella's world.
With Stella you have added to a literary history rich in unreliable narrators. What are the merits and risks of this approach?
First-person narration allows the reader to become completely engaged in the character's way of thinking. It is like a one-to-one, so to speak. The risk is that the reader may find the whole experience too gothic. In Yellow, Stella's unreliable narration is integral to the story. In writing this book, the benefits were that I could focus and concentrate on one character, and the difficulties ...
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