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.

Aya Katz's first novel The Few Who Count was published in 1983. The novel appeals to teenage readers since the author was around this age during the writing process. The protagonist Hannibal involves his teenage daughter Caldwell in making business decisions for Carthage Corporation, a theme not often explored in this 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, whether it be from being a union organizer to morphing into buying shares of Carthage Corporation in a hostile takeover. Hannibal knows 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 addresses the concept of 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, but the novel discusses 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. The first part of series takes place at the private Catholic girls' school Precious Blossoms in Kaifeng, China. Marah teaches business English to her female students, but she discusses historical figures such as Bonnie and Clyde, much to the consternation of the sisters who want her to stick to a more regimented curriculum. Overall, the first installment is 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. The idea of 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) that 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.