Westword: So whose brainchild is Colorado #ResistanceReads? Where did the idea come from, and what in America today prompted its need now?
Jonuska: The idea was mine and sprouted from something I think about often, and that’s the power of story. Fiction is often seen as the fluffier side of literature, but we can often look at challenging ideas better when they’re sandwiched between covers and called a story than we can when the same topics are on the news. I had the hope that #ResistanceReads books like these might help readers work through some hot-button political issues and stimulate discussion, provide nuance and maybe an outlet for feelings of outrage and fear that are so common right now.
For me personally, this campaign is also a way to take action in the world the best way I can, with the unique skills I have. I am not a lawyer who can go to the border to help immigrants. I’m not a chef who can show up to feed hurricane victims or a journalist on the front lines of the press core. I’m a novelist, and this project is my small contribution that, combined with those of the lawyer and the chef – hopefully they add up to real change.