How did The End of the Point originate?Learn more about the book and author at Elizabeth Graver's website.
My novel The End of the Point took me a long time to write, both because of the particular challenges and pleasures that went into it and because over the past decade, my non-writing life has been very full—with the birth of two children, the illness and death of my father, the daily routines of teaching and family life, and, perhaps most centrally, the growing sense that I didn’t want to rush; time moves fast enough on its own. Over they ears, as the story took shape, I spent a part of every summer and many fall and spring weekends at the real place that my fictional place grew out of. Often,while I was there, I wrote. I walked the paths, navigated the rocks to swim in the ocean and began to feel that the land—and the one-room cabin my husband had built on it—was a kind of home to me—not(as it is to my husband and our daughters) a first home, but a surrogate second home, at once alluring and vexed. I watched my children learn to walk, swim and ve in nature there, the place a great gift for them but also a complicated privilege and even a danger—for how fully it can shelter and how much it can exclude. I used this real place as a way to begin to imagine my fictional Ashaunt Point.
Would you share more about the novel's setting?
I wanted to portray a small place but go deep, to use a narrow lens to examine larger issues of social class, money and property,of parenting and care-taking, of what adults pass on, both literally and figuratively,to children. I look at how this kind of private seaside community can function as a protected or contested space, isolated but never entirely, as its boundaries are porous and the events of history are never far away. I realized partway through that I was also writing about a world whose ways are fast-fading, a world on the way out (for better or worse—probably both). In the early 1920’s, my husband’s grandparents and great-grandparents bought...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: The End of the Point.