Friday, September 23, 2011

Author of the Week: Marc Nash

This week Marc Nash will be telling us about himself and his book "Not In My Name."
Me and where the book comes from:
In 2004 and there were a series of terrorist bombs on the train network in Madrid, because Spain was involved in Iraq. Because of this I knew we in Britain would come under similar attack for our involvement in a far away foreign land. I don't drive and am totally reliant on the London Underground. For a month or so, I was scrutinising every face in my carriage. No one else seemed that nervous (or paranoid?). I looked for obvious giveaways and signs. But reading people was fraught with difficulty and in all likelihood prejudicial judgements. Yet after a month it wore off and I returned to normal commuting habits, the stress being over late trains or failing to land a seat and having to rub up against people with body odour or sharp bags. A year later and the London Underground WAS bombed. What was shocking to our nation was that it had been done by four homegrown suicide bombers. I wanted to explore the process by which that could possibly happen. How Britain could so alienate some of its own citizens as to drive them to attack the State in so explosive and destructive a way. I also introduced the themes of the limits to legal and peaceful protest within a democracy when the politicians won't listen to the will of the people and that of anonymity and identity theft online. Parts of the novel are written as internet forums and chatrooms, rather than conventional narrative and dialogue.

Description of my novel:
Semtex semiotics, internet grooming, ID theft by the most unreliable of narrators, he who wilfully misleads. Is that a wailing siren, or bomb-blast tinnitus inundating your ear?
An online activist who submerges his identity within the Net, stealing those of others as well as their souls. Grooming not for desire, but for death. Cyberspace is where the real politics is being fought out, in far more viscous and unconstrained talking shops than any legislature. In an anonymous realm, who exactly can be said to be acting in whose name?
The novel explores the limits of political opposition within a democracy. What actions remain when marches, petitions, lapel ribbons, all fail to move the Executive? It traces the explosive transformative process behind the ultimate form of resistance, a home-grown suicide bomber. What are the divergent pulls on identity, of growing up British, Asian and Muslim, that in extreme cases can lead to 7/7?

The novel is a trenchant sweep across Britain in the 21st century. Full of the anxieties of eyeing up fellow commuters on the London Underground, crucifixes and hijabs in the workplace, aspirational lifestyles, adventure tourism, green issues, Big Brother (Orwellian), Big Brother (Endemolian), radioactive assassinations, cricket and the Arctic Monkeys.

Book Trailer: Not In My Name

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