Tom Hansen is the guest. He is the author of the memoir American Junkie and a new novel called This is What We Do. Both are available from Emergency Press.


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Tom Hansen-TNB-author picWhat is This Is What We Do about?

How much we need our lives to mean something, how much we need to have purpose. How eventually we all end up searching for, or being driven to do something with our lives, which in essence is the search for some form of immortality. We want to leave something behind, be remembered for something. It’s a fundamental aspect of human experience. Traditionally people have found a route to this in their jobs, family, community, culture but for various reasons people are becoming less needed and these things are losing effectiveness as places where we can find those elements. Why? Because the world is changing very rapidly and we are having difficulties keeping up. I feel this is the core reason for all the dysfunctions and disorders people are experiencing. So I thought about that. Are we in some transitional period that people will eventually adjust to? Is it simply change and evolution the Western world is going through, or is it degeneration and decay? I explore these questions in the novel via the possible revolution that happens. Are the people who undertake these violent acts nihilists, or idealists? Are they in search of a better future, or are they just out to destroy?

9780983693222_p0_v1_s260x420Nethery stepped off the train at St. Charles station. He made his way outside the main hall and and across a plaza until he stood at the top of a broad marble staircase that looked out over the city. It was a clear day and he could see the Old Port in the distance. He examined his map, and between that and following the majority of people he descended the staircase onto the Boulevard d’Athènes. He followed that to the Canebière, and then headed for the Old Port. Along the way he stopped at Centre Bourse, a shopping complex, a block off the Canebière. After a brief search he found a boutique and bought the first suit he found that fit, a Hugo Boss. He also picked out a shirt. From there he made his way to another boutique and bought an expensive pair of Persol sunglasses and at a third shop he picked up some black dress shoes and some socks. As he went from place to place he discarded his old clothes.