Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones
Mapping the Interior is a ghost story of loss. Published in 2017, Jones explores how the event of a death of a father cascades into a young adult story of finding a way through life. Isaac and Reid strongly recommend this story.
Discussed this Episode
- Displaying and showing loss and being alone.
- Having people, but not really having to show aloneness. Junior has a family, but there is a caveat to each possible connection. Mother is only there during crisis moments. Brother is a younger brother with a mental disability. The ghost is friendly, but maybe not.
- Showing potential that has been taken to emphasize loss: give the character a redemption arc that is never fulfilled. Junior’s father is given an entire future of becoming a celebrated dancer, despite not showing an interest. The act of dancing becomes Junior’s eventual goal, and there is a connection to the father as Junior pursues dancing. The loss is underlined every time Junior brings up the life that his father could have had.
- The POV of Junior provides the characteristic of youth and allows for an unreliable narrator.
- The reader and the narrator are on the same page. Junior does not hide information from the reader, instead the story of discovery is felt and taken at the same pace with Junior.
- Junior’s youth conveys the question of “is this magic real?” Is the ghost real? What killed the dogs? What supernatural elements coincide with real world events?
- Junior is still a kid and doesn’t have all the answers and doesn’t have all of the information.
- Given the length
- One to one substitution of Mapping the Interior and The Turn of the Screw in school curriculum.
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