While I have been touring for my book Angelology
, I have been asked some interesting, thought-provoking questions, and this seems like the ideal place to mull over them. One person came over and asked me about the role of women characters in my book... not just the grandmother/mother/daughter relationship, but the nuns, art collector, and others who play important roles, too. Abigail Rockefeller, for example, features in the book because I came across her life story and found it fascinating. You can check out information on her here
I was already looking at the period of history from the Gilded Age to the Depression, and here was this amazing woman who dedicated her life to supporting the arts and to supporting women. She left us with rich collections of art and artifacts, and of course helped to found MoMA. I love this museum and visit it regularly when I am in New York. So I wanted the book to contain some great women characters, and I wanted them to be sensual, feminine, beautiful — but also strong, courageous, and fighters, too.
I think that it is interesting to follow family sagas across the generations (not just the women — Percival Gregori and his relationship with his father is there, too), and I liked the idea of constructing a storyline that would carry us from one generation to another — creating a history or memory for the characters in the present. I find the period of history from the end of the 19th century to the end of WWII in the mid-20th century particularly interesting for the effect it has on our contemporary lives. I wanted the characters of the book to play out a similar dependence. The passing of the Angelology diary from one generation to the next and the passing of the Nephilim Book of Generations from one to the next echoed this. You can see pages and read more about these books at www.angelologist.com.
In a certain respect, this is one of the themes of my first book, a memoir called Falling Through the Earth. (Check out www.fallingthroughtheearth.com.) I think that each generation shapes the next and so, of course, I wonder how my own generation will shape the future. What do you think? How will the next generations remember us? Post ideas below.