Joanna Hershon is the author of Swimming, The Outside of August, and The German Bride. Her writing has appeared in One Story, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Post Road, the literary anthology Brooklyn Was Mine, and was shortlisted for the 2007 O. Henry Prize Stories.
Her new novel is A Dual Inheritance.
From Hershon's Q & A with Jen Ortiz at GQ:
GQ: Why choose male friendship as a subject?Learn more about the author and her work at Joanna Hershon's website.
Joanna Hershon: I've been trying to suss out for myself where the seed of this book came from. I've always been really fascinated by male friendships, and my father's friendship with a really close friend from college. (But the book is not even remotely about my father and his friend.) I do identify that male friendships in particular have always been really interesting to me--maybe because I am not male. I am also really interested in periods of time or places where unlikely friendships are possible.
Even though Harvard in the 1960s is not particularly exotic, it did always fascinate me to hear about. My father went to Harvard in the late '50s; I read his Red Book, which is this book where the alumni write stories about their life--I remember just poring over this book and the diversity of men at a time that had so many more strictures than we do now. That just was fascinating for me. It's almost like, a catalog of characters or something. Somehow those men must have haunted me a bit, like ghosts.
GQ: Are male friendships really that different from women's?
Joanna Hershon: It seems, to me, that there is a depth of feeling that isn't as expressed as with women, generally. And I think that restraint is interesting to me as someone who is not particularly...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: The German Bride.
My Book, The Movie: The German Bride.
Writers Read: Joanna Hershon.
The Page 69 Test: A Dual Inheritance.
My Book, The Movie: A Dual Inheritance.