Friday, May 30, 2014

Lynn Cullen

Lynn Cullen is the author of Reign of Madness, a 2011 Best of the South selection by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and 2012 Townsend Prize finalist, and The Creation of Eve, named among the best fiction books of 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and an Indie Next selection. She is also the author of numerous award-winning books for children, including the young adult novel I Am Rembrandt’s Daughter, which was a 2007 Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection and an ALA Best Book of 2008.

Cullen's latest novel is Mrs. Poe.

From the author's Q & A with Erin Al-Mehairi:

Q: Mrs. Poe’s title of course isn’t meant to mislead, but why did you or your publisher choose it when your protagonist isn’t Edgar Allan Poe’s wife, but the female poet Frances Osgood?

A: I chose that title from the very start. I was thinking of the book, Rebecca, in which the main character is obsessed with Rebecca, the former wife of the narrator’s new husband. Rebecca isn’t told from Rebecca’s point of view, but through the eyes of the new wife. I thought I would write Mrs. Poe in the same vein—written from Frances’s point of view about her obsession with Mrs. Poe. Frances wanted to be the real Mrs. Poe, and actually was more suited for that role and so should have been, hence her obsession.

Q: Why did you choose Frances as the narrator or protagonist? What do you hope readers remember about Frances? Why is she not more well-known as in my mind she is one of the greatest female poets of the 19th century?

A: I identified with Frances since she was a woman trying to make a living writing, never an easy thing to do, and especially difficult in 1845. I wanted to explore what it’s like to be a woman and a writer through her eyes. I wonder if Frances didn’t remain well-known long after her death because she wrote about being a mother and about love, subjects that “serious,” i.e. male, authorities on poetry discounted. I also wonder if her relationship with Poe...[read on]
Visit Lynn Cullen's website.

My Book, The Movie: Mrs. Poe.

The Page 69 Test: Mrs. Poe.

--Marshal Zeringue