Episode 25: Rebecca Geleyn Interviews Anne Stone
Oct 4, 2021
In this interview, Anne Stone discusses her novel Girl Minus X (2020) and what it was like writing a ‘science fiction’ narrative, featuring a sci-fi virus that attacks memory, and how this resonates in our contemporary context amidst the global pandemic. Stone and Geleyn talk about the evolving process of trauma writing, how Stone’s various books have grown through their narrative focus with an increasing attention to readerly care, and the way characters are received. Themes of trauma, memory, context, and time are explored, and Stone discusses what it means to consider these overlapping concepts as both a writer and a teacher. Two readings are also shared from the brilliant novel, Girl Minus X.
Rebecca Geleyn recently defended her Ph.D. dissertation in English and Creative Writing at the University of Calgary, a novel that explores human-animal relationships in the setting of a zoo. Her research interests include ecocriticism, animal studies, and visual art in literature. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals across Canada, including in The Malahat Review, CV2, and Riddle Fence, and she writes reviews regularly for The Fiddlehead and The Malahat Review. She is currently a Public Humanities Fellow with the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society and works for the postcolonial journal ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature.
Anne Stone teaches Creative Writing and Literature at Capilano University. She is the author of four novels which, at core, explore violence and its affects. Her latest novel, Girl Minus X (Fall 2020), tells the story of a girl with an eidetic memory and a traumatic past, navigating a world in which a slow creeping virus erodes memory. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called the novel “a prismatic look at disaster striking people already in crisis.” She’s also the author of the 2007 novel, Delible, which tells the story of a 15-year-old girl whose sister has gone missing. Chosen as one of thirty-five “Books of the Year” by the Globe & Mail, Delible offers a glimpse into a sustained experience of uncertainty and, in so doing, explores how our identities exist in those traces we leave behind. Just now, she’s working on a book of slipstream short stories.
4:10 – Anne Stone begins by discussing one’s trajectory as a writer, trauma writing, and taking care of your readers
8:50 – Reference to visual artist and sculptor Doris Salcedo
16:05 – Stone provides some narrative background for a reading from Girl Minus X
17:52 – First reading from Girl Minus X
21:55 – Second reading from Girl Minus X
26:57 – The experience and politics of forgetting, and one’s personal responsibility to be present and accountable
35:55 – Writing a virus-themed narrative before the global pandemic, and how Girl Minus X has drawn strange parallels
42:15 – Featuring young female characters, and the generative space available when writing on liminality and youth
47:20 – The importance of community connectedness, for the health of a broader social body
49:00 – Writing (or teaching) catastrophe and apocalyptic themes, and communities of care
52:00 – Stone’s new collection of short stories, with reference to works by Kelly Link
TIA House recognizes the generous support of the Canada Research Chairs program and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. We also appreciate the support of the Faculty of Arts and the Department of English at the University of Calgary, where our offices are housed, as well as the guidance of Marc Stoeckle at the Taylor Family Digital Library.
TIA House is run by Larissa Lai, Paul Meunier, Joshua Whitehead, Mahmoud Ababneh, Rebecca Geleyn, Aruna Srivastava, Marc Lynch, Marj Rugunda. Shuyin Yu and Ryan Stearne.
Our Intro/Outro music is Monarch of the Streets by Loyalty Freak Music, accessed from the Free Music Archive.