To hear Sarah Blake discuss the process of creating her latest novel The Postmistress it truly drives home the all-encompassing nature of the writing process. Although it is a work of fiction the novel pulls little pieces of information from her personal life, stories she was told, and the reality of our modern wars and places them in a time she has only read about. Prompted by many factors, but most prominently the tragic events on 9/11, Sarah set out with the effects of war on her mind. The Postmistress transports the reader to a time when people still sent letters and the war, WWII, was reported on over the radio. The novel deals less with the reality of war and more with the process of coping with suffering. Blake looks closely at our ability to calmly go on with our daily routines almost out of necessity. In her own words "It's about the lies we tell others to protect them, and about the lies we tell ourselves in order not to acknowledge what we can't bear: that we are alive, for instance and eating lunch, while bombs are falling, and refugees are crammed into camps, and the news comes toward us every hour of the day." The Postmistress is a fascinated depiction of an emotion and instinct that is timeless through the eyes of two women charged with the same mission.
Sarah Blake will be reading from The Postmistress tomorrow night (Feb. 12th) at Women & Children First at 7:30pm.