Fiction writer Karen Thompson Walker explores the connection between fear and the imagination.
In Karen Thompson Walker's 2012 book The Age of Miracles, a young girl and her family awake one morning to discover that the rotation of the Earth has suddenly begun to slow, stretching the length of the 24-hour day and throwing the natural world into disarray. It's a big, speculative book, but at heart, it's a simple human drama, told through the eyes of an observant adolescent girl.
A former book editor at Simon & Schuster, Walker worked on the novel for three years, an hour each morning before work. Fun fact: The Age of Miracles was published on June 21, 2012 -- the longest day of the year. Since then, the bestselling, much-awarded book has been translated into 29 languages.
“Fear is … a kind of unintentional storytelling that we are all born knowing how to do.”
“Our fears are an amazing gift of the imagination … a way of glimpsing what might be the future when there's still time to influence how that future will play out.”
“Just like all great stories, our fears focus our attention on a question that is as important in life as it is in literature: What will happen next?”