In Retrospect with Jill McCorkle and Andre Dubus III

The passage of time often causes people to reflect on their past and often their family secrets begin to come to life. In Andre Dubus III's novel Gone So Long, Susan Dunn has been trying to escape for as long as she can remember. But happiness has always eluded her—now an adjunct professor, she is tortured by the novel she cannot finish, and a lack of feeling toward a husband who loves her. Just when she’s ready to abandon everything to try again, she receives a letter that forces her to reckon with the trauma that first sent her running: her mother’s murder at the hands of her father. Out of prison and living a spartan life, has written Susan with his dying wish: to see her for the first time since a policeman tore her from his arms. But does she want to see him, and confront the reason he’s been gone so long? In Jill McCorkle's latest novel Hieroglyphics, Lil and Frank married young, launched into courtship when they bonded over how they both—suddenly, tragically— lost a parent when they were children. Over time, their marriage grew and strengthened, with each still wishing for so much more understanding of the parents they’d lost prematurely. As they move back to North Carolina, they realize the difficulty of ever knowing the intentions and dreams and secrets of the people who raised you. Interviewed by Suzanne Kingsbury

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