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Original Essays | September 9, 2013 5 comments
Editor's note: Chris Bolton is not only a former Powell's employee, he was also once the primary writer for this blog. So we are particularly proud... Continue »
Julia GlassDescribe your latest project.
The Whole World Over is, like so many other novels (certainly the ones I love best), about the search for true love among people old enough to know just how hard and devilish a journey it is yet human enough to fall victim to their vanities, passions, and tenacious longings for the one true soul mate, the perfect family, the happy home. From a less lofty angle, it's the story of four characters and their intertwining lives: Greenie, a pastry chef and devoted mother; her husband, Alan, a psychotherapist facing midlife reckonings; Walter, a gregarious restaurateur in love with an unattainable man; and Saga, a young woman whose life was derailed by a severe injury and who, for the time being, finds her purpose in rescuing and caring for animals. What happens? Well, I like to say that The Whole World Over is a variation on that classic set-up, "A stranger comes to town." In this case the stranger the governor of New Mexico comes to town and orders dessert: a piece of cake made by Greenie, in Walter's Greenwich Village pub. He meets Greenie and offers her a job out west; impulsively, she accepts it, taking along her young son and setting in motion a series of events, encounters, and decisions that ultimately bring the four characters together in a moment of common crisis. And the rumor is true: Fenno McLeod, the hero of my novel Three Junes, is back, on the sidelines, yet his quiet presence also plays a crucial role in the fate of more than one of these people. I was surprised when he showed up; such surprises, I find, are one of the greatest rewards of writing fiction. Another is hearing what readers see in the lives I've created: there, too, I am often delightfully surprised.
If someone were to write your biography, what would be the title and subtitle?
Introduce one other author you think people should read, and suggest a good place to start.
What is your favorite literary first line?
What is your idea of absolute happiness?
What is your favorite indulgence, either wicked or benign?
Why do you write?
If you could have been someone else, who would that be, and why?