Ithaca City of Asylum board member, Lamar Herrin, has recently published his latest book, Fractures. This is a novel that uses the issue of hyrofracking to provide the context for a story about family and connections. Herrin, a professor emeritus of creative writing and contemporary literature at Cornell University, talks about his new work with fellow board member Barbara Adams in an interview published in the Ithaca Journal.
As part of the discussion, the author talks about the location of the novel and the use of hydrofracking. “I’m a writer for whom place is very important. If you write about a place, you preserve it. One of the reasons writers write is to hold onto things, so things don’t vanish out from under them. So I did feel the need to write about Ithaca. I love this place, and I realized it was time to write about it. And the issue that was pushing itself in my face was hydrofracking.
It’s a provocative social issue that has to do with land, water, the air we breathe. These are the kind of issues novelists go for — the more basic and elemental, the more wide-reaching the book is going to be. The big problem was dealing with hydrofracking in a non-polemical way. I struggled to suppress my own personal feelings about the wisdom of fracking in the service of a novel and characters who are responding to it differently. All the characters, absolutely every one, has mixed feelings about whether to drill or not; none is a clear advocate or opponent of it.”
Fractures is an intense family drama, and nothing is more personal or family-oriented than the land. And this is family land.
The full interview is available here.