Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Adelle Waldman

Adelle Waldman’s writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, the New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, The Village Voice and other publications. She worked as a reporter at the New Haven Register and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal’s website before turning to fiction.

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is her first novel.

From Waldman's Q & A with Teddy Wayne for GQ:

GQ: The book has several pretty graphic though not-very-sexy sex scenes. Do you think you were you influenced by the relatively recent trend of depicting the unflattering side of sex, as in GIRLS, or was this an angle you wanted to pursue from the outset?

Adelle Waldman: I didn't intend to write about sex at all. I actually get embarrassed talking about it, and hoped in my book, I'd just be able to refer to it in passing without really having to go there. But as I wrote, I realized that wasn't going to work. It's too much a part of relationships to skip over it. Sex also reflects so much of what else is going on in the relationship. I'd basically finished the book when GIRLS aired, so I can't say that was an influence, but I must say that I do really appreciate its realistic, un-idealized sex scenes.

GQ: Nate is often very critical of women—both in general and particular ones he encounters. How did it feel writing these less savory thoughts about your own gender?

Adelle Waldman: Very bad. Particularly because Nate is not only thinking unsavory thoughts about women; in a very real sense, his thoughts are reflections on me personally. Many of Nate's most brutal observations about women are things that I most feared men in my past might have thought about me. I basically used my fears as source material. It was not always pleasant, honestly. But I thought that it was important to be as honest as possible, no matter how badly it reflected on me, or on Nate, or on women generally. What I wanted more than anything was to...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Adelle Waldman's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P..

--Marshal Zeringue