Sheila Heti's "Pure Colour"
LARB Radio Hour ❭
Sheila Heti joins Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher to speak about her latest novel, Pure Colour. A mythical and tender telling of the life of a woman named Mira, Pure Colour imagines our present day as taking place in the first stages of God’s creation. The world as we know it is but God’s first draft, and the complaints of human beings about its difficulties are being logged by him as input for his second. In this first draft world, people come in three categories: birds, fish, and bears. Mira is a bird — she relates to the world aesthetically and studies writing and criticism — while the woman that beguiles her, Annie, is a fish — a pragmatist who believes in justice for all of humanity. Mira’s father, meanwhile, is a bear, devoted most to the people he loves. When he dies early in the novel, questions of how to reconcile these different positions, how and at what distance to love someone, and how much to let go of that love, take the fore, as do other deeply philosophical inquiries about time, the future, art, and the universe as we know it. Also, Francesco Pacifico, author of The Women I Love, drops by to give a glowing recommendation for Gertrude Stein’s classic The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.