Episode 115 - Gary Younge: Part 3

22Jun

In part three of Gary Younge's conversation with This Writing Life podcast, we continue our discussion of his extraordinary book A Day in the Death of America. We begin by discussing the idea of choice in the lives of the teenagers Younge writes about - all of whom are either the victims of gun violence, or the perpetrator. Younge weighs up role of personal responsibility against a culture and society in which gun violence is simply more likely. He recalls the tragic example of Justin, who was shot in a case of mistaken identity whilst driving on the streets of Goldsboro, North Carolina. Younge then considers:

  • the challenge of writing Justin's story
  • place, theme, character: how did Younge 'put a human face' on gun violence
  • 'How do we avoid turning this into a tale of unrelenting woe? Who wants to read a book that just says death?'
  • how Younge wrote about his own part in the story

Part 4 of 4 to follow.

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