Co-opting Civil Discourse

Shannon Cain’s life as a political wife influenced her Shannon Cainactivism and her latest novel. After her former spouse shared the uncivil discourse that occurs at some city council meetings, Cain was inspired to engage in “co opting places that aren’t really meant for literature.” She set up a tent for five days during Occupy Tucson and brought in her desk to write, but confesses she neither wrote nor slept there. She also set up a camp of sorts at weekly Tucson City Council meetings, where she takes advantage of the public’s right to speak freely, on any topic, for three minutes, to read from her latest novel-in-progress, Tucson, the Novel, an Experiment in Literature and Civil Discourse. Cain says that the public reading to a live audience – including 20,000 television viewers – has changed the direction and pace of the piece, and she’s being forced to create a little bit of an arc in each short section she reads. Cain says, “It’s very strange.”

-Charlie Lewis, Editor

About Ruby Kim

STU UnGrad
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