Tucson Tales is a children's literature publication run by undergraduate students at the University of Arizona. They showcase new and established writers. This is the interview they did with me about my middle-grades historical novel Tucson Jo. Click here for the entire interview.
The questions were not cookie cutter questions and really made me think. Here's an excerpt from the online interview:
Q. You often write about World War II and the Holocaust. Did you find it particularly challenging or beneficial looking at some of these anti-Semitic themes through the lens of the American Southwest?
A: That’s an interesting question. It’s always challenging to write about The Holocaust and/or anti-Semitism. I suppose what is so surprising to young people is how long anti-Semitism has been with us. They often have no idea that it dates back to the early days of the Church and that it was propagated by both Church and state as a way to scapegoat a particular religion and people. But I did find it compelling to write about the true story of how Strauss’s political rival tried to use it to defeat Strauss, even though there had been no real cases of anti-Semitism in Tucson up to that point. (It didn’t work!) Unfortunately anti-Semitism is ever present, and today we are seeing a frightening escalation in the United States and in Europe.