Meg Wolitzer's new novel is an epic exploration of friendship, coming-of-age, talent and success. The Interestings follows six artistic friends who meet as teenagers one pivotal summer at a camp called Spirit-in-the-Woods. Over the next 40 years, they grow up to find some of their talents developing into grand success, while others don't.
Wolitzer joins NPR's Rachel Martin to talk about the convergence of talent and luck, envy-inducing gremlins and her own experiences at summer camp.
Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 10:15 am
By Rajesh Parameswaran
Rajesh Parameswaran is the author of I Am An Executioner: Love Stories.
Sara Suleri Goodyear's heartbreaking 1989 memoir of life in Pakistan, Meatless Days, circles backward and forward in time and space, from Lahore to Connecticut and around again. The author renounces plot in favor of an intimate, impressionistic survey of her family's tragic history.
In some ways, it was like any other writing class: backpacks, books, rough drafts, discussions about literature. But instructor Christine Dumaine Leche and her students weren't sitting in a college classroom or a community center — they were on an air base in Afghanistan and the students usually came to class after long days in a war zone. Leche was teaching them to translate their experiences — the danger, the boredom, the painful separation from their families, the fear and the hatred — into prose.
Julia Sweeney is a figure of bicoastal sophistication. She's a comic actor who does one-woman shows about love, illness, faith and family. She's still remembered for creating the androgynous Pat on Saturday Night Live. She hobnobs with famously glamorous and witty people.
So how did it come to pass that she wound up in Wilmette, Il., driving a minivan and dreaming of solitude? Sweeney has put some of her musings on becoming a Midwestern mother — and keeping up her life in comedy — into a new book, If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother.