In this interview, Julie Marie Wade speaks with us about writing Catechism: A Love Story, and Kristina Marie Darling discusses the book’s design and layout decisions.
Wade: My guiding question for the project was: What happens after you reach adulthood? What next? Of course I was only seeking to answer this question in light of my own experience, but it seemed an important one to probe given how much emphasis had been placed in my youth on becoming the “right” kind of adult—successful, accomplished, and desirable to the right kind of men. My parents had wished for me a life of greater certainties, fiscal and otherwise, than they imagined were possible with a vocation in the Humanities and literary arts. They had always wanted me to be a medical doctor of some kind, but I had chosen to go a different way. The real deal-breaker, from their perspective, though, was that I had also chosen to give up the prospect of a heterosexual life once I fell indisputably in love with Angie Griffin during that first year of graduate school.
Darling: I try to design books that are beautiful as objects in themselves, enacting and communicating the kind of beauty found in the work. There’s a reason Julie’s work has gotten so much well-deserved recognition. She’s a gifted prose stylist who also addresses ambitious and compelling philosophical questions in her work.