Slab (small title continued: “On That Hallelujah Day When Tiger & Preacher Meet”) is one of those novels that hits you fast and hard, that you finish in one sitting, gulping down like an ice-cold glass of water, yet fail to be able to fully recall or explain the experience even moments after it ends. What’s for sure is this: the story of Slab centers around Tiger, a woman named for the color of her hair, a dancer, a dreamer, a girl fully rooted in the post-Katrina South, who may or may not be narrating the entirety of her story to Miss Barbara Walters. It’s little use trying to quickly describe Slab or its character Tiger, who is, after all, only as complex and fascinating as the author of the beast, Selah Saterstrom. In our brief interview, Saterstrom explores religion and its possible “anti-heroes,” Southern roots (and holds), even the heroisms of Nancy Drew. If you enjoy even a piece of this interview, go, fast, and pick up Saterstrom’s Slab (and all her other works).
Kati Heng: The setting of Mississippi seems to hold such a prominence in the story of Slab. Could this story have taken place anywhere else? What would it have looked like elsewhere?
Selah Saterstorm: The de-categorizing hand of the disaster doesn’t mind manners or borders. In this sense, the story could have taken place anywhere. Capitalism and politics, however, are sickly-bloated with border-fetish. In this sense, the disaster that was FEMA very much locates the story in Mississippi and Louisiana.