Friday, October 09, 2020

That Rarest Breed: Leftist Political Thrillers

Recently I had a fun discussion with Praveen Tummalapalli about why there are so few leftist thrillers, and of course we talked about much more, too.



The discussion was for an article Praveen is writing for Current Affairs Magazine, but it wound up working well in its own right, so I'm posting it here. Had I known we were going to use the interview not just for background, I would have lit our Zoom call better and used an external mic, too. I might even have combed my hair! And apologies also because, having listened to some of the talk after the fact, I was horrified at how much I was saying "um." I work hard to avoid verbal tics, but that morning the Ums got the better of me.

I've addressed some of these issues before, particularly in the context of the tendency to denigrate as "political" only those storylines that don't jibe with one's own political views. As I sometimes like to ask when people criticize my novels as "too political," "You do know they're political thrillers, right?"

Anyway, regardless of any technical shortcomings, I hope you'll enjoy the discussion. When the article's out, I'll post that, too. And who knows? Maybe some of this will encourage other novelists to depict the thrills inherent in leftist politics.


2 comments:

Praveen Tummalapall said...

Thanks again for agreeing to this interview! I thought it was a great conversation.

And I didn't notice you saying "um" a single time because I was so horrified by how many times I said it! I hope anyone who watches this won't be too bothered by that.

Mark Terry said...

Now I'm wondering where on the political spectrum my own political thrillers, either Derek Stillwater or Austin Davis, would fall, since I'm quite liberal ("quite" he laughs). Austin's politics would likely be called "nonpartisan corrupt belonging to the Skeptical Party." Derek probably belongs to the same political party, but might lean more toward the "liberal jaded" end of things. :)