Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"The Informer"

Craig Nova is the author of twelve novels and has received an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is also the recipient of NEA and Guggenheim fellowships. His writing has appeared in Esquire, Paris Review, New York Times Magazine, and other publications.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, The Informer, and reported the following:
I looked at page 69 of The Informer and I have to say that this page seems to operate as a sort of fractal, that is a pattern that is the smaller part of the larger pattern of the entire book. The book, after all, is about a woman who is trying to be clear about what is going on in a city where motives are obscure, acts are violent, and people are exceedingly devious. This scene, on page 69, shows a woman, Armina Treffen, a detective in the serious crimes section of the Berlin Police department, trying to make sense out of the appalling murders of young women. Armina, by the way, is coming into a part of the work force that was previously forbidden to women. Anyway, here is a sentence from this page and one that I think presents one of the central issues of the book, that is the attempt to make sense of a constant horror and the obscurity of the motives that are responsible for it:
The city had a fascination with the sexual murders of young women, and cabarets had reenactments of some of the most notorious crimes, not to mention that some paintings were done of these assaults. Why, she wondered, were there so many more of them than before? Was there some impalpable quality in the air, some fascination with doing these things, as though the horrible violence of them served as a substitute for some otherwise lacking clarity?
Read an excerpt from The Informer, and learn more about the book and author at Craig Nova's website and blog.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue