Thursday, February 19, 2015

Laura van den Berg

Laura van den Berg's new novel is Find Me.

In it, her main character Joy has no one. She spends her days working the graveyard shift at a grocery store outside Boston and nursing an addiction to cough syrup, an attempt to suppress her troubled past. But when a sickness that begins with memory loss and ends with death sweeps the country, Joy, for the first time in her life, seems to have an advantage: she is immune.

From the author's interview with NPR's Scott Simon:

SIMON: So what's this sickness?

VAN DEN BERG: The sickness is an epidemic that destroys memory. And in the early incarnations of the book, the sickness actually got a much more realistic treatment, sort of "Contagion"-esque if you will. But the more I worked on the book the longer it began to move into this surreal direction. And then when I uncovered the part about memory loss, I finally understood how the larger story of the sickness locked together with Joy's interior story.

SIMON: Joy's interior story - for example, why is she always swilling cough syrup?

VAN DEN BERG: Yes, I mean, Joy is a character who, ironically, wants to forget. She's had a childhood trauma that is somewhat repressed and over the course of this story she has to...[read on]
Learn more about Find Me, and isit Laura van den Berg's website.

Learn about Laura van den Berg's 6 favorite unconventional mystery novels.

Writers Read: Laura van den Berg (January 2010).

--Marshal Zeringue