The Arsonists' City

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Fitting Together Fragments of Narrative with Hala Alyan

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At Guernica, Hala Alyan discusses her new novel, The Arsonists’ City, and how her work as a clinical psychologist informs her writing. “I find the two practices are quite compatible,” Halyan says. “There’s a seamlessness in going from working with someone else’s narrative, and the fragments of their life, and trying to make it all cohere and figure out where things went awry, and then puzzling through a writing project. A lot of similar questions regarding intention, desire, and fear. Something I love about being a clinician is that I’m always thinking about how someone’s story is unfolding, and what might be getting in the way.”

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