|Paul D. Carter's novel, Eleven Seasons, won the 2012 Australian/Vogel Award earlier this year. The author recently spoke to Angela Meyer for the Melbourne Writers Festival blog:|
I like how the novel interrogates different cultures around the game--good and bad--through Jason's encounters. Was it important to you to shine a light on both the positive and negative aspects?
My greatest aim with this novel was to write a book that dealt with football but which non-followers of the game could appreciate. I wanted to get the reader to think of football as a sphere in his life that was interdependent with the other spheres in his life: his relationship with his mother, his relationships with his friends, his relationships with girls. Football is something he uses for a sense of selfhood and direction, in the same way that other people might embrace music or dance to provide themselves with these things.
This said, I felt it was important to look at the way the way football culture might inhibit him as much as it provides him with solace. I think it can be easy to escape the hard work of growing up and figuring yourself out if you are part of a club or institution that does this figuring out for you. I think this issue extends to cultural pursuits outside of football as well, but in football it is quite explicit.