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Writer Samantha Silva: Mr. Dickens and His Carol

It’s one of his most beloved tales, but was written in a hurry and under duress.

On this holiday episode of Dialogue, Marcia Franklin talks with Boise writer Samantha Silva about “A Christmas Carol,” penned by Charles Dickens in 1843. In her debut novel, “Mr. Dickens and His Carol,” Silva melds fact with fiction to imagine how Dickens came up with the plot for his now-classic story.

Of Silva’s work, Pulitzer Prize-winner and Boise resident Anthony Doerr says, “It’s as foggy and haunted and redemptive as the original; it’s all heart, and I read it in a couple of ebullient, Christmassy gulps.”

Silva talks with Franklin about what drew her to Dickens, how she researched her book, why she thinks “A Christmas Carol” crystallizes Dickens’ ethos, and why the story is still relevant.

A graduate of Boise State University and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Silva is a screenwriter who has sold projects to Paramount, Universal, New Line Cinema, and TNT. A film version of her short story, “The Big Burn,” won the One Potato Short Screenplay Competition at the 2017 Sun Valley Film Festival and will be released in 2018. Silva will also be writing another novel.

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