Aya Katz

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Aya Katz giving a talk about her novel Theodosia and the Pirates at the Texas County Museum of Art and History in Licking, Missouri.

Aya Katz is a libertarian author, linguist, and primatologist. Her novels focus on the exploration of freedom and how we should go about getting and preserving it. The recurring themes in her books deal with justice and honor. Katz is internally motivated, and tends to take the side of people who act on internal rather than external compulsions. Katz attended the Libertarian National Convention in 2016, and supported Austin Petersen, even though he lost the nomination to Gary Johnson. On July 22, 2017, Katz will be a guest speaker at the Missouri Libertarian Party State Convention in Jefferson City.

Aya Katz's first novel The Few Who Count was published in 1983. The novel appeals to teenage readers since the author was an adolescent during the writing process. The protagonist Hannibal involves his teenage daughter Caldwell in making business decisions for Carthage Corporation, a theme not often explored the YA genre. Hannibal and Caldwell believe in commercial chastity, which pertains to business decisions focused on intrinsic desires rather than making a profit at any expense. The villain of the story has no qualms about changing careers to make a living, especially since he is a union organizer who morphs into buying shares of Carthage Corporation in a hostile takeover. Caldwell learns limited liability for corporations actually infringes upon free enterprise, and the rights of individuals should never be suppressed over the rights of the collective.

Vacuum County was Katz's first adult genre novel published in 1993. The tale begins with the young woman Verity being unlawfully accused of DWI in a small Texas town, where she is forced to stay against her will. The story branches out to cover a cast of characters and portrays how all people can work together to promote personal liberty, even if it is not a motivating factor for most people. Vacuum County was written prior to the Mount Carmel massacre, but explores the non-aggression principle. Sometimes the government must intercede in a time of crisis, and the novel examines how this should only occur when individual liberties are at risk.

Our Lady of Kaifeng: Part One (Volume 1) is the second novel Aya Katz has written for an adult audience. The story was loosely inspired by Katz's experiences teaching at a Catholic university in Taiwan. Part one takes place at the private Catholic girls' school Precious Blossoms in Kaifeng, China. Marah teaches business English to her female students, but prefers discussing historical figures such as Bonnie and Clyde, much to the consternation of the sisters who want her to stick to a more regimented curriculum. Our Lady of Kaifeng is starkly apolitical in comparison to Katz's other novels, but religion, individual learning styles, and love and limerence are dissected. The idea of love and limerence harkens back to the novel The Few Who Count regarding internal motivation. One-sided love is dismissed as being unrequited but can be fulfilling to those who truly care for a person who may not reciprocate. Love and limerence can be applied to the concept of a deity since the faithful cannot see the God they pray to, as Marah points out.

In March 2016, Aya Katz published the sequel Our Lady of Kaifeng: Courtyard of the Happy Way (Volume 2) follows the continuing adventures of Marah, Sesame, Father Horvath, and the sisters and some of the students now living in a Japanese internment camp for westerners. Commandant Izu runs the camp and wants everyone to be happy and get along, but Marah abhors his socialistic ideals, and those of all the utopian thinkers now foisted together into such close quarters. The novel is a metaphor for society in general and analyzes how true contentment can only be achieved with the freedom to pursue individual dreams, and many of these are curtailed by group think.

Theodosia and the Pirates is Aya Katz's most politically driven novel. The story is a speculative account regarding the fate of Theodosia Burr after she sailed away on the Patriot. Theodosia was rescued by the privateer Jean Laffite when the British attack the ship. She ends up falling in love with Laffite and marrying him. The novel portrays war and patriotism from a Libertarian perspective, and Aaron Burr's legacy is also vindicated.

[1]

  1. Interview with Aya Katz