Our interview with poet and award-winning author Ben Lerner about his gripping novel 10:04. On anxiety for the future, the importance of imagination, and why the line between fiction and reality is blurrier than we might suppose.
For me, literature, like life, is about being open to the contradictions of experience as opposed to papering them over or offering false solutions – Ben Lerner
Ben Lerner author of 10:04
Author Alexander Maksik
Author Alexander Maksik has recently published his second novel ‘A Marker to Measure Drift’. It tells the story of Jacqueline, a young Liberian woman who has fled the civil war engulfing her country, and is haunted by the trauma of her recent past as she struggles to survive on a Greek island full of vacationing and carefree tourists. Jacqueline experience’s of the world is visceral, having been stripped down to all but the most basic of human needs, the search for food and shelter. But all the while she is determined to maintain her dignity, even as she struggles to survive her uncertain state. The book is a fascinating meditation on memory, violence, and the need for companionship and understanding.
Alexander Maksik has written for numerous publications including Harper’s, Slate, and The New York Times Magazine. His first novel was “You Deserve Nothing.” We speak about his beginnings as a writer, the themes of isolation, and trauma, and why self-reliance is such a tempting, if often illusory idea.