Barnes and Nobel caved. Well done, Lauren Becker. The planned reading will go ahead. Gulp! Now I have to figure out just what I can read to a high-school audience. I don't consider my work kid-friendly :-)
Just the other day I overheard my seven-year-old daughter tell her friend "My mom's a writer, but you won't be able to read her work. It's ADULT material." I can only imagine how that was interpreted by the little friend's parents!
I am almost finished reading Dan Chaon's novel, AWAIT YOUR REPLY. What a brilliant stroke to open with that horrific scene. As I read, I always have that palpable tension in the back of my mind, knowing that the story will come full-circle and back to the torture scene.
I just hit on that inevitable torture scene last night. I had to stop reading, afraid I wouldn't be able to sleep after. Now I can't wait to get back to the book. The urge is so bad I don't think I can wait until tonight. It's like the tired but true scenario around the car crash: where you don't want to look, but you just can't help yourself.
I love AWAIT YOUR REPLY on a number of levels. It's imaginative, gripping, and well-written. It's characters are fascinating. Issues of identity especially capture my imagination. Who are we really? What is real? What's not? Haven't we all, at some point, just wanted to walk right out of our current life and start over, become another person entirely? The idea is equally strange, frightening, and exhilarating.
I have long felt fixated on who I would be now if "X," "Y," and "Z" hadn't happened to me in the past. This is particularly true of the abuse I suffered in childhood. Who would I have been if I wasn't abused? For the longest time, I believed I would be a better, happier person. I refuse to believe that any longer. I refuse to bail on myself any more. It's not about what happens to us, it's what we do about what happens to us, right?
How about you? Ever want to be somebody else? Trade places? Start over?