Saturday, October 5, 2013

Caroline Leavitt

Caroline Leavitt is the New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You, which sold to six countries, went into five printings, and was a San Francisco Chronicle Lit Pick, a Costco "Pennie's Pick" and a NAIBA bestseller. Pictures of You is also a USA Today ebook bestseller and is on the Best Books of 2011 List from the San Francisco Chronicle, Providence Journal, Kirkus Reviews and Bookmarks Magazine. It's also one of Kirkus Reviews Top 5 books of 2011 about the Family and love.

Is This Tomorrow is Leavitt's tenth and latest novel. From Leavitt's Q & A with Katy Flaherty at Writers’ Program:

Writers’ Program: In Is This Tomorrow, you do a great job of juxtaposing the cultural norms of 1950s–so often viewed with nostalgia and longing for a “simpler time”—with the realities of being an outsider in this culture. What made you choose the fifties as the jumping off point for the novel?

Caroline Leavitt: The fifties were such a weird time. It was supposed to be a white picket fence suburban paradise, but the suburbs back then were all about everyone being the same, and if you dared to be different–or if you simply were different, you paid a high price. Setting the book in the 1950s gave me a lot of drama. Ava Lark is divorced at a time when no one gets divorced. She’s also Jewish at a time when being Jewish was virtually the same as being that dreaded of all dreaded things: a Communist. And she works at a time when mothers didn’t work.

WP: Your writing immediately transports the reader to a different time and place. From Ava’s outfits to Lewis and Jimmy’s road trip stops, everything seems very authentically of the time. How did you go about researching to get the details so spot on?

CL: After it took me three days to find out what 1950s cops used instead of crime tape (wooden saw horses and rope), I hired a librarian who was amazing. I’d ask her for one thing, like researching what people ate back then, and she’d come back with things I hadn’t thought to ask!

The greatest boon...[read on]
Visit Caroline Leavitt's website and blog.

Writers Read: Caroline Leavitt.

The Page 69 Test: Is This Tomorrow.

My Book, The Movie: Is This Tomorrow.

--Marshal Zeringue