One Story: A Conversation with Janet Fitch About “The Revolution of Marina M.” and “Chimes of a Lost Cathedral”

"I knew that Marina was born at the turn of the century and that her development would mirror and incorporate the history of the revolution and the literary history of the time as well — whom she admired, whom she would emulate. And that was basically all. The rest grew organically, moving back and forth, between her individuation as a woman, an artist, and a maturing moral entity, and the unfolding of the revolution — an intricately linked micro and macro story.”

—Wide ranging conversation with Boris Dralyuk on the creation of MARINA M. and CHIMES OF A LOST CATHEDRAL in the Los Angeles Review of Books

Alejandro QuintanaComment
Janet Fitch’s ‘Chimes of a Lost Cathedral’ echo sounds of Russian past, present

"When someone is a poet, that’s not a suit you put on and take off. It’s a way of being in the world — a vocation, a calling. Russia treasures its poets — they represent the essence of bravery and freedom, beauty and truth. Russians turn to poetry to express the soul of the times and hang onto what it means to be human in unbelievably difficult times."

On CHIMES OF A LOST CATHEDRAL In the San Diego Union Tribune.

Capital Public Radio's Beth Ruyak Interviews Janet Fitch

Janet Fitch is a smart, award-winning author whose books include "White Oleander" and "Paint it Black." Both were best-sellers and have been made into movies.

Fitch’s new book, "Chimes of a Lost Cathedral", picks up the story of her historical fiction from 2017, "The Revolution of Marina M." She talks about the process of writing, the ways in which the Russian Revolution led her to see comparisons to the current political moment in the U.S. and how the two pieces of the story she has told are two parts of a whole.

To listen to this interview please visit the link below


By Barbara DeMarco-Barrett

I first became aware of novelist Janet Fitch when White Oleander, an Oprah Book Club selection made into a feature film, was first published. I loved the novel and had her on my radio show. I remember being entranced with her alacrity with metaphor and simile and asked her, as we sat in my car in a Starbucks parking lot near the University of California, Irvine Campus where my show broadcasts, how she came up with such original similes and metaphors. 

“Will you stare at a dripping faucet for hours until it becomes something else?” I asked her and she said, “Yes, yes I will.”

PSYCHOLOGY TODAY: Why Historical Fiction?

Discussing the boons and pitfalls of writing historical fiction, about living in history, Russia in the news and other timely topics with author and journalist Jennifer Haupt for Psychology Today's "One True Thing"  column:

" I had no idea that people would become as obsessed with Russia as I am. You can’t predict the future, which is another theme of the book. You live inside history. You don’t know what’s going to happen. They didn’t know during the Russian revolution and we don’t know now."

Published November 22, 2017

LA TIMES: What it took to go back to Russia 100 years ago in 'The Revolution of Marina M.'
To tell my story, I have to know how it felt to stand in lines at the district soviet trying to get papers one needed to work, and listening to rumors of what was said in those rooms. Hungry, ill-clothed, hopeful, stressed out. That’s the room I want to be in. Not how people shape history, but how history shapes us, how it distorts our stories, what it calls upon us to do. Who we become under its pressure.

An essay for the LA Times' Jacket Copy, “Janet Fitch explains what it took to go back to Russia 100 years ago in 'The Revolution of Marina M.',” November 10, 2017.

HUFFPO: How to Become an Everyday Reader
I think you become a more effective reader by reading in big blocks instead of trying to catch a page here and there. I read in the morning instead of reading the newspaper.

Q&A from Quora, “How to Become an Everyday Reader,” in response to the question, How can people go about becoming more effective readers in their everyday lives?, Huffington Post, November 7, 2017.

GOODREADS Q & A with Janet Potter
Writers always regret taking something out. The Revolution of Marina M started out as a novel in verse. Eventually I put it all into prose because I have a bigger tool kit as a prose writer. For narrative I need to live through scenes in real time, but I do have a fondness for those verse chapters...

An wide ranging conversation about the creation of The Revolution of Marina M. Includes some excellent questions from Goodreads readers.