THE END HAS COME Author Interview: Robin Wasserman, author of “The Valley of the Shadow of the Promised Land”

Robin Wasserman, author of ” the Valley of the Shadow of the Promised Land,” discusses the background of her story in this exclusive interview featured on A Dribble of Ink:

The characters seem to dance around the Cain and Abel story until finally, instead of Thomas and Joseph taking the roles, Isaac decides it is his story. Were you surprised at how the story turned at the end to both fratricide and patricide, or had you planned it all along?

I actually followed a trajectory similar to the one that Isaac follows in the story, sifting through the various bible stories that deal with fathers and sons and brothers — and there are so many! — before finally realizing this was a story of Cain and Abel, at least in part. Of course, some of the fun of this story, at least I hope, comes from the fact that Isaac is so confused and mistaken about what’s happening around him, and the question of whether he’s interpreting everything wrong, or whether his senility allows him to see things more clearly than everyone else. He thinks he’s playing out Cain and Abel, but actually the emotional thrust of the story–again, I hope–comes from his manipulation of his sons, his over-reliance on the Isaac/Jacob/Esau narrative, and the ways his projection of these tropes blinds him to who his sons really are. (The unreliability of Isaac’s narration is also what we have to thank for the lack of women in this story–he registers their existence but, as could be said for the Bible as well, sees them less as historical actors than as incubators or succubi.)

Read the rest of the interview at A Dribble of Ink!