I had the pleasure of interviewing author Guy Gavriel Kay at the launch of his new book, River of Stars, at the Toronto Public Library’s Appel Salon. I’d read the book over the Christmas holidays and savoured every minute of it; I think it’s one of Kay’s best (caveat: I’ve read most of his books but not all). In it, Kay revisits Kitai, the setting of his previous novel, Under Heaven, although the new book is set some 400 years later. (While you don’t by any means have to have read Under Heaven, it will enhance the experience.) River of Stars follows hero Ren Daiyan, who believes from a young age that he is destined to regain Kitai’s lost territories; and Lin Shan, a woman who stands out from others because she is taught what women are no longer taught. Of course, as with all of Kay’s books, there are so many more characters—some of whom appear only briefly, others who play much bigger roles—and a vast canvas on which all of their struggles play out. Our talk ranged, not unexpectedly, over a wide variety of subjects, including the roles of women in historical fiction and history as a construction, but did take some quite surprising twists and turns along the way!
You can listen to a podcast of it below.
[mp3j track=”Interview with Guy Gavriel Kay@http://site.chatelaine.com/mp3/lauriegrassi.mp3″ ind=”y”]