Archive for April 2014
One of my newest novels, A Room in the House of the Ancestors, may be the most important thing I’ve ever written, at least from my perspective. It’s not erotic, it’s not adult, it isn’t filled with a complex narrative with a cool twist ending, and it’s not high-tech cool. It’s just the story of a family — it’s the story of our family, if you’re an American, or a Canadian, or an Australian, or from New Zealand, or any country in Africa, or from any other country where your people have been stripped of their indigenous culture and sent away to a different land. It’s also the story of the people left behind. It’s the tale of what happens when healing takes place.
The US in particular is represented by the main character, Edward. Eddie was separated, when an infant, in a kind of political accord, from his own family and sent to America to live with adoptive parents. He saw his adopted father’s slide into paranoia and madness firsthand. He was also surrounded by a wall of ignorance about the outside world that prevented him from knowing anything about his true origins. He is soon reunited, under odd circumstances, with his birth family and begins to realize that the story he has been told about them is a web of lies. The truth is less black and white.
That story isn’t so much my story as it is the story of what’s going on in my country over the last twenty years. I was well-read enough to understand that the US media had been manipulating the country (as it still continues to) with distortions and misinformation. The Internet has changed all that dramatically — and the more exposed to variant news sources, the more aware we are of how gray the American experience is on the inside and outside of the country. I have been shaken in the post-Bush years, and I say that as a liberal Green Party person my father called his “lefty daughter.” I really had no clue of how profound a mirage had been created around us.
This awakening dovetailed with my own ancestral search. In essence, I was an “adopted child” (although my parents were my birth parents) seeking out her biological family. I was helped in this quest by my good friend, Dr. Robin Kickingbird, who helps other “ghost children” find their way. While I embraced what I knew of my NA ancestry (I’m 17% Native American), I really had only basic “English and Irish and some other” information about the rest of my heritage. She told me, as other NA elders told me, “you must reach out to all your grandmothers.”
And thus, I did. This led me to my genealogy odyssey, which may be a vital spiritual experience for those of us living in the post-colonial world. I had no notion how important it would become to me. It has changed my world view dramatically.
So, that is why “A Room” and Edward’s story is important to me — it’s important because it’s my story, it’s our story, it’s the human story in our quest for home. And “home” is, of course, the self — the only self any of us have.
I had intended “A Room” to be a stand-alone novel. The reaction I’ve received to it has been earnest enough that I’m now writing a sequel. That’s what life is, after all, a story. We must follow it on to the end.
If you cannot afford to purchase it, please let me know and I’ll supply a readable copy. Just email me at melody23 AT gmail.com
From the author of “A Revolutionary Romance” and “Defining Moments”