It's good, in my view, to write a book that calls attention to its own mechanisms, questions those mechanisms, and thus makes readers engaged, or even angry, participants in the story, rather than passive consumers. Nabokov, for instance, awoke this kind of fury, and he also got people to think -- surely a positive development.
This kind of engagement is particularly relevant, I think, to those of us who are dissatisfied with the dominant narratives in Western media describing (it would be more accurate to say "purporting to describe") the aims of Islam and Muslims. References to pop culture, Nabokov and the Beatles and Humphrey Bogart included, are viable means to such an engagement.
In my novel JIHADI: A LOVE STORY, R.L. Firestone maintains that all wars are really puzzles, and the victors are the ones who get to pronounce their solutions.
“The Orient and Islam have a kind of extrareal, phenomenologically reduced status that puts them out of reach of everyone except the Western expert. From the beginning of Western speculation about the Orient, the one thing the Orient could not do was to represent itself. Evidence of the Orient was credible only after it had passed through and been made firm by the refining fire of the Orientalist’s work.”
For a summary of the blog tour for JIHADI: A LOVE STORY, click here.
For an excerpt of the novel, courtesy of Orenda Books and Espresso Coco, click here.