Monday, November 8, 2010

Another Look at Fobidden and Suzuma Interview

Over at the Book Fairy Haven, there was another review of Forbidden and, more recently, a two part interview with author Tabitha Suzuma. You can find my most recent previous update about the book here. In case you don’t know, the book is a fictional and tragic tale of consensual, loving, consanguineous sexual relationship between a brother and sister.

In all of my life, I don't think I've ever read a book that has led me on such an emotional rollercoaster ride in much the same way that this one has.

Someone once said, and I'm paraphrasing here, that the books that are most worth reading are the kind of books that challenge our convictions and belief systems - and, as a self-proclaimed bibliophile, nothing challenges me more than reading a book that takes me completely out of my comfort zone.

It is a good thing that the book is getting people to think.

From part one of the interview…

I became so caught up in the characters and the story that it began to feel as if I were writing a book about something that had really happened.

Something like it has happened. Siblings who have expanded their relationship in such a way have had to deal with prejudice and bigotry and tragedy.

Adults as well as teens have written in droves to tell me how much the book moved them, usually to the point of tears, and many told me they were really quite shocked to find themselves rooting for a brother and sister to be allowed to have a romantic relationship but that their feelings changed completely during the course of the book.

Like I said, it I good that people are thinking.

From part two of the interview…

7. What are your own thoughts on incest and what advice would you give to people who find themselves in a situation like Maya and Lochan's?

I feel that consensual incest isn't as black and white as society at large seems to perceive it and I feel that there are cases and situations where consensual incest could be at least 'understandable'. I abhor the blanket dismissal of anything as 'wrong' without the close examination of individual cases.

I feel as disgusted as the next person at the idea of having any kind of vaguely romantic relationship with either of my brothers ... but what if my circumstances were completely different? What if my brother had never felt like my brother?

In that case who would I be hurting by having a relationship with him if he wanted one too?

I think I actually became even more open minded about consensual incest during the writing of the book. So long as it really is completely consensual, I don't think it should ever be an imprisonable offence.

Consensual sex should not be illegal.

However, I do think that on the whole it should be discouraged and that couples who find themselves drawn into an incestuous relationship similar to Maya and Lochan's should be encouraged to seek counselling.

Why? Does she really believe this, or is she just saying it because she “has” to?

I don't think having biological children in an incestuous relationship should be allowed, simply because the risk of genetic defects is so high.

This seems to be the most common excuse to “discourage” consanguineous marriage, but it doesn’t hold up, because we allow people with inherited diseases to have children, we allow older women to have children, and there are other examples where the risk of adverse outcomes are increased. Also, not all married people have children together.
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