I recently spoke with author Christopher Locke at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., and we agreed on three very important authorly things. First, a tear-jerking novel is cathartic to write and therapeutic to read. Second, writing a story from an animal’s point of view is life-changing. Third, books can lend perspective and expand a reader’s worldview.
As you know, my second novel, In the Doghouse, is about a couple’s breakup from their dog’s point of view. Christopher Locke’s series, The Enlightenment Adventures, is written from the viewpoint of several animals including Persimmon, a raccoon. He had me at “raccoon.” I looked up book one, Persimmon Takes on Humanity. I read one review and purchased it on the spot:
“I cried, I laughed, and I saw myself in these characters.”Amazon Reviewer
I wanted to know if I would see myself in a raccoon or if a raccoon could teach me something.
Here’s the book description (as borrowed from Amazon):
What would you do if you saw someone committing unimaginable acts of cruelty? Turn the other way or defend those in need—no matter the cost? That’s the dilemma thrust upon Persimmon, a clever and compassionate raccoon, and her loyal forest friends. Instantly, the courageous critters spring into action, risking their own lives to rescue any animal they see suffering at the hands of humans . . . Will they succeed in saving the animals of the world from humans’ brutality, or will they fall victim to the powerful system of abuse they’re trying so desperately to end?
I read Persimmon’s story during my flight to Iceland on June 28th. It was an informative, absorbing, thought-provoking read, and yes, I teared up. The flight attendant brought me Kleenex.
Persimmon is a raccoon with purpose and resilience. Locke is a patient storyteller, and he slowly helps the reader witness some ugly truths. My personal perspective and lifestyle were mostly in sync with this novel before reading page one, but now they are 100% aligned. The saying “You are what you eat” took on new meaning for me thanks to Persimmon and Christopher Locke.
Thanks for being you, Christopher.
Christopher Locke is a raconteur, iconoclast, sit-down comedian,