The Inspiration for ‘Remainder’

the following post first appeared on REMAINDER’s book page. Having updated that part of the site, I am re-posting it here so that it can be read and archived.

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I wrote REMAINDER in response to a number of things. September 11. A  friend, who was also my daughters’ godfather, dying of pancreatic cancer. A desire to lift up a diverse community’s ability to get along, even during times of stress. Fracture lines don’t always have to be along lines of heritage.

It became a love story and a coming of age story and a story of life. What happens when ordinary people meet circumstances that exceed the boundaries of their power? What makes a good decision, and when the decision is good for one but bad for another, how do you choose?

Living in community, even when the goal is to be independent, means that somehow, some way, your decisions are going to affect and be affected by other people. What does it look like when we navigate that?  How does it play out?

Remainder, Tennessee is a small community – not even incorporated – inhabited by people who just want to live their lives their own way. The world has already made demands upon it in response to 9/11. And every resident has their own personal story. Into this delicate balance comes a steamrolling powerhouse intent on showing terrorists developing land into planned communities. Remainder stands as the final site, and Wilson Parker must acquire the land necessary for his company to build. How much land? All of it.

The residents of Remainder have decisions to make. Sell, or fight it. Even as they each  face personal critical points in their lives.

The end of one life, the coming of a new one, and the daily  struggle against the ghosts of past lives – like all of us, the residents of Remainder have things on their minds. How do they all cope? What becomes of the community?

Read it to see what remains.

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