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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Chicago author Alice Liddell is back in “The Conversation”

Ardain Isma

CSMS Magazine

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege to speak once more with Chicago prolific writer Alice Liddell. Our conversation focused on two things: Her historical novel titled Geisha Hands and the publishing industry. Geisha Hands is a fully illustrated historical novel that puts in display the Japanese geisha culture. The main protagonist in the story is Yukie, “a maiko on the verge of her erikae, which is a ceremony, a graduation ceremony—if you will—called the turning of the collar which must take place become Yukie becomes a full geisha.”

I have to say before I read this novel, I knew very little about the geisha culture. So, prior to reading, I had to do some preliminary research.

Alice uses a lot of Japanese words in the story. However, as an experienced writer, she knows that could slow down a reader who may not be familiar with Japan and its rich culture, let alone the language. Not only she uses a glossary at the end of the story, she also runs a footnote at the bottom of every page. “I wanted to have the footnotes to be a quick reference for the reader. [So], they don’t have to break out of the story.” This could create a hindrance to some readers if they have to stop each time they run into a word they don’t understand.

The story takes place before the second world war. I asked her why she chooses this specific period. “I choose this period because it was a period when the culture in Japan was still very traditional. It didn’t have a lot of outside influence, especially due to the isolation law….They didn’t trade with very many countries because they really wanted to preserve their traditions.”

Then, we switched to a subject of great interest to Indie writers: the publishing industry and the difficult path on which writers must walk to find a reputable publisher. In all, our conversation was very educational and fun. To learn more about author Alice Liddell, you can visit her website. You can also follow Alice on Twitter.

You can watch the video below, as well as on our You Tube channel.

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