Andrea Raine Speaks Seriously About “Turnstiles”
Interviews by nick wale
A Conversation With
ANDREA MCKENZIE RAINE
Martin Sourdough is a homeless person who has chosen to turn his back on the corporate, material world; Willis Hancocks, Jr. is a barrister, an alcoholic philanderer, and a misogynist; and Evelyn (aka Yvonne) is a prostitute. Turnstiles speaks to these social problems through the smaller scope of each character’s individual trials. There is a struggle that exists between the need to serve one’s own needs and the expectation to participate in the larger social scheme. Martin and Willis are both trying to fit into the world, but on their own terms. They are naïve, searching for an Eden-like state of being. Through a broader experience of personal fortune, misfortune, travel, and social interactions, they each learn to accept their path and take control of their own destinies.
How would describe your book, its genre? Do you write in more than one genre?
The genre of my debut novel, Turnstiles, is literary fiction. I also write poetry, and my poetic voice definitely influences my fiction writing. Many fiction writers also write poetry.
How long have you been writing? How long did it take to write your book? And what motivated you to write it?
I have been writing ever since I could hold a pen. I’m serious. I remember being given assignments in grade one, two and three to keep journals and write stories. While the other kids groaned, I got really excited.
It took me fifteen years to write Turnstiles. I wrote it in the midst of work, university, relationships, kids, and life in general, but I never dropped the thread. I always wanted to write a novel. When I returned from a two-month solo backpacking trip through Western Europe and the UK in the summer of 1998, I felt like I had something more important to say.