The University of Connecticut’s own Leigh Grossman showcased his most recent novel, “The Lost Daughters,” at Storrs Center’s Barnes and Noble Wednesday night.
Grossman, who is an editor, college lecturer and professor in UConn’s English department was introduced by Sean Forbes, a fellow professor and director of the creative writing program at UConn.
Forbes spoke of Grossman’s versatility within the world of literature that stems from the many careers he has held.
Grossman spoke on the difficulties of publishing and editing his novel, expressing his reluctance to cut certain parts of his manuscripts when advised to do so. Grossman’s close working relationship with his editor allowed them to work together to assemble his many works. When discussing his novel, “The Lost Daughters,” Grossman further went into the details and the thought process behind his novel. He also spoke about the connection that one of the fantasy novel’s characters had to his own life.
His character, Sperrin, who suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, was inspired by a friend, Grossman said.
“That came out of a long conversation I’ve had with a good friend who spent a lot of time in the military, and had to do some pretty dark things. All of them doing his duty, but left the military because he discovered that he really liked killing people. He didn’t really like what that said about him,” Grossman said.
The story is set is in a dystopian world, but curiously, the characters don’t see their world as such because of their privilege, until everything collapses. The work follows an army man, Sperrin and Ketya, as they navigate the world after the Gods have stripped away the magic from their country of Anaya. Ketya, a child, observes her father after the death of her mother and maintains a dysfunctional but distant relationship with him. Sperrin navigates both war-torn countries and his marriage as his wife begins to fade due to her illness. Throughout the novel, the perspectives of the main characters, Ketya and Sperrin, are interchanged, though they are both told in first person. With the switching perspectives of each character, past memories, current feelings and unclear motives are further explored.
When asked about the various perspectives within the novel, Grossman said, “My default is to have the single narrator, this one kind of novel needed to have different voices. There were things that these characters didn’t know, there were things these characters did know. Given though in the heart of the story they gather a lot, they have completely different pieces of knowledge of the world.”
He added, “There’s information we need to know as readers, that we need to be able to discover from each of those characters.”
Dahlia Delahaye is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.