Alix Ohlin reads the first pages of her latest novel, Dual Citizens. We discuss how her choice of scene in her prologue prepares the reader thematically for the story of these two sisters as well as the complexities of their relationship, how she played with chronology, and how other writers might navigate the reminiscent narrator. For your own first pages, Ohlin recommends: “Think of your novel as a map of the world and of your opening pages as the legend that provides your reader with a key for how to engage with that world. That’s all you need.”
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Alix Ohlin is the author of six books, including Dual Citizens, which was short-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her most recent book, We Want What We Want, appeared in 2021 and won Lambda award for bisexual fiction. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Best American Short Stories, and many other places. She lives in Vancouver, where she is the Director of the UBC School of Creative Writing.