I’d say Wolitzer has written ‘a novel of ideas’ if said novel weren’t so engaging. (In my household, the phrase, “a novel of ideas,” is followed by an eye-roll. Such books are made for humorless people who don’t like television, candy, and/or dancing.) I read the book in four days, hushing anyone who tried to speak to me as I finished a paragraph or chapter, and laughing aloud at various cafes (yeah, I became that person).
“As I read its final lines, declarative and profound and true, I felt mournful. The book — this book! — was over. I closed the novel and wondered if I could write a book this big, this ballsy. I imagined Ms. Wolitzer behind an imposing mahogany desk, quill in hand. ‘Why not?’ she said to me, and smiled. Yes, why not?”
Sing It, Sister! On Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings by Edan Lepucki
“Marisa Silver’s third novel, Mary Coin, inspired by Dorothea Lange’s iconic Depression-era “Migrant Mother” photograph, depicts three contrasting yet connected lives: the photographer, Vera Dare; the photo’s subject, Mary Coin; and a professor in present-day California, Walker Dodge. The book manages to feel intimate and personal, even as it spans decades and takes on big subjects like history, motherhood and art.”
A photograph captures a moment of time, but then time itself moves past that moment into the future. When we look at a photograph, we are looking at time stilled, at a moment that has died.
World Book Night is scheduled for this Tuesday, and 25,000 volunteers will gather to distribute free books to “light and non-readers across America.” Last year, our own Edan Lepucki participated in the event and wrote about it for our site. However this year, if you’d like to participate on your own, you can enter the organization’s book giveaway to receive “5 free WBN editions to share with others.” Get out there and spread some literary love.
And stop guarding that heart! (This is true for both writers and contestants on The Bachelor — it’s the only way to win. That, and being a sweet Southern girl with a killer bod.) Amy Hempel has quoted her teacher Gordon Lish as saying, “Wear your heart on the page, and people will read to find out how you solved being alive.” Amen, amen, amen.
“I’m guarding my heart. I saw a colleague a couple nights ago and we talked about standing on the ledge of a writing project but not wanting to get too involved because what if this is not the one? What if it’s not a book? So I need to get honest. I’m stuck at a three pronged fork in the road — a spork. I’m stuck at a spork in the road.”
I’ve heard from many authors that each novel offers its own unique demands, its own unique joys, and that you must re-learn the process with each go. Let that inspire rather than scare you — would you really want a redundant experience?
“My favorite book this year was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I won’t even bother describing its plot (but, okay: man’s wife goes missing, he’s accused of murdering her, did he?, etc.). You’ve already read it, or you’ve been meaning to, or you just want everyone to stop talking about it already! But what can I do? It’s not my fault that the most popular girl at the dance is also the coolest and the smartest and the funniest and the sexiest; plus she’s got blood under her fingernails and one helluva snarl: ferocious, seductive, ironic and dark. If you haven’t danced with her already, why not? You aren’t scared, are you?”