Thursday, August 15, 2013

Matthew Quick

Matthew Quick is the author of Silver Linings Playbook. His new YA novel is Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock.

From his Q & A with Breia Brissey for Entertainment Weekly:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Your novels often tackle difficult issues, but Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock seems especially topical considering how front-and-center the gun violence debate is. What was your inspiration for the book? Were you at all influenced by how big of an issue gun violence is?

MATTHEW QUICK: I wrote the book during the summer of 2011. I never set out to explore gun violence. I’m a voice-driven writer, and Leonard’s voice came to me fully formed. As I listened to him—sorting through his pain, snark, and desperation—a story emerged along with a P-38 Nazi pistol. I did my best to record everything honestly. For years, as a high school English teacher, I counseled troubled teens which mostly meant listening. Whenever there is a school tragedy, we ask what’s wrong with teachers, education, and the youth. Logical questions to pose in the wake of tragedy. But I wonder if we are not missing out when we fail to ask this question: What is going right on the many days when kids in crisis get help and tragedy is avoided? There are hero teachers in every high school quietly helping troubled teens. We can learn from them. We should celebrate them.

The book is in no way preachy, but I think it could be really helpful to a struggling teen. What do you hope readers take away from the novel?

I hope Leonard Peacock types might feel less alone. As a teen, that’s why I went to literature—to know there were others out there who had wrestled with the same questions and emotions I was taking on for the first time. And I also hope all readers will ponder...[read on]
Learn more about the novel and author at Matthew Quick's website.

The Page 69 Test: Matthew Quick's The Silver Linings Playbook.

--Marshal Zeringue