Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sara Benincasa

Sara Benincasa is an award-winning comedian and author of the books Great, a teen adaptation of The Great Gatsby, and Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom, a book based on her critically acclaimed solo show about panic attacks and agoraphobia.

From the author's Q & A with Emily Winter for The Barnes & Noble Book Blog:

EW: And why did you choose to modernize The Great Gatsby?

SB: Well, feminist retellings of ancient myths and fairy tales are pretty cool. I wanted to do something a little different. I thought, what would happen if I took a male-centered, twentieth-century novel written by one of the most notorious literary celebrities of his generation and rebooted it with girls as the main characters?

I thought the bones of the story were strong enough to support a retelling in any era, really. Gatsby’s love for Daisy—or maybe it’s just an obsessive desire for what she represents—well, that’s something that transcends the boundaries of time and place. It reminded me of the way girls sometimes obsess over one another in middle school and high school. They see things they want to embody and fall into a kind of love with one another that has very little to do with romance. Of course, some girls genuinely fall in love with each other, and that’s wonderful. But when it came to Great, I wanted to tell a story that was more about obsession and desire than about true love.

EW: Was it super daunting to revisit/rewrite an American classic? Was it restrictive or freeing to have a sort of template to work from?

SB: I think my inexperience as a novelist made me bold. It didn’t occur to me until I had completed the book that...[read on]
Visit Sara Benincasa's website, blog, and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: Agorafabulous!.

--Marshal Zeringue