Robert V. S. Redick's unpublished first novel, Conquistadors, was a finalist for the AWP/Thomas Dunne Novel Award, and his essay Uncrossed River won the New Millennium Writings Award for nonfiction. A former theater critic and international development researcher, he worked most recently for the antipoverty organization Oxfam. He lives in western Massachusetts.
Originally planned as a trilogy, the Chathrand Voyage has been expanded to four books but the author assures readers that "the tale will end decisively with Book IV"
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Robert Redick, author of The Red Wolf Conspiracy: The Chathrand Voyage, answers our questions
Tolkien was suspicious of allegory. Is the Chathrand an allegory? Or is it simply a bloody big boat?
I'm with Tolkien completely. The Chathrand books are an allegory-free zone.
As a writer, the moment you pursue an allegory, you're trapped. Your story can't
breathe if you have to keep prodding it back towards something you've decided it
But Chathrand is certainly more than just a vast sailing ship. I think of her as a character, with history, moods, loyalties and a destiny quite her own. Of course she's also the stage on which much of the action takes place: a stage with room for 700 players. This makes her a kind of village under sail. Indeed, one deck is known as 'Night Village' to the rats and Ixchel, who live there.
It's clear, both from your author biography and from your book, that you love languages. Do our languages shape our view of the world? Did the languages in The Red Wolf Conspiracy shape your creation of Alifros?
Oh, very much so. This is a story of constant encounters with difference: sailors were the original agents of globalization, for good or ill. And ...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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