Karen Wunderman spent her childhood in a suburb of New York and her adolescence in Manhattan. After receiving a B.A. in history from Alfred University, she attended Teachers College, Columbia University, where she wrapped up her education with a M.A. in Philosophy of Education and a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Teaching. She held a few unusual teaching jobs and then decided to mix her academic expertise with her love of writing by pursuing a career in educational publishing. She is the author and contributing author of many textbooks and other educational materials. When not writing for love or for money, she spends her time tending her gardens in Cranbury, New Jersey, where she lives with her husband, two children, and an assortment of four-legged creatures. She is an ardent photo hobbyist; one of her photographs appears on the cover of her novel. Winterkill.
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An Interview with Karen Wunderman,
author of Winterkill
The subject of communism sets up a negative reaction in many people. Why
did you choose this subject? Were you concerned that it might turn people away
from the book rather than help increase sales?
First of all, the book isn't about communism per se, but rather about persecution and self-acceptance. I used communism as a vehicle for exploring those themes. The disillusionment and shame communists from the thirties and forties were left with always fascinated me. Why was it so hard for them to accept that what they'd believed in wasn't what they'd thought it was? Why were these people, who fundamentally had good intentions, forced to live in shame and secrecy? McCarthyism and the witch-hunts of the 1950s are the obvious answer, but for many, the anti-aggression pact between Hitler and Stalin in 1939 was the defining moment. Americans, communist or otherwise, couldn't ally themselves with a government that supported Hitler. I've never defended the communist movement in this country, but I've tried to understand its roots, and it afforded me the perfect vehicle for the character and story I had in mind. I have been concerned ...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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