My novel, Quinn, is partly about a man who kills his girlfriend and then, in the course of the book, is forgiven. That’s difficult for people to swallow. I totally get that. It’s difficult for me as well.

I’m writing about it because I don’t have an answer and I want to feel a way toward possibilities, toward a different way of seeing. Those two things – justice and forgiveness – aren’t easy to reconcile. But we have to talk about them. We can’t keep going round in retributive circles, continuing to feed violence with more violence – through harsh punishment and incarceration, but also by “canceling” or silencing difficult conversations.

A prison teacher finds she’s not that different from her students.