Thursday, June 18, 2015

Anna North

Anna North graduated from the Iowa Writers Workshop in 2009, having received a Teaching-Writing Fellowship and a Michener/Copernicus Society Fellowship. Her fiction has appeared in Nautilus, Glimmer Train, the anthology Robot Uprisings, and the Atlantic Monthly, where it was nominated for a National Magazine Award. Her nonfiction has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Paris Review Daily, Jezebel, BuzzFeed, and Salon, and she is now a staff editor at the New York Times.

North's first novel, America Pacifica, was published in 2011. Her new novel is The Life and Death of Sophie Stark.

From the author's Q & A with Karan Mahajan for Salon:

When the book starts it seems to be about gender issues and sexual violence in a very direct way, but then it homes in on a series of male characters struggling with their confidence in the aftermath of trauma. Were you surprised by the direction the book took?

I’m actually still surprised that there are more male narrators than female in the book, because I think of myself as someone who writes about women and because I think of Sophie Stark as so much the story of a woman. But I kind of like that there are so many men. As I mentioned, I thought a lot about male artists while I was writing the book — men like Pablo Picasso or Jackson Pollock or Ernest Hemingway who caused a lot of pain for the people around them but who are still kind of remembered as heroes. And so often when we hear the stories of those artists we hear about “the women who loved him,” all these women who are at the periphery while the man is at the center. I like the idea of flipping that on its head, of having all these men tell the story of one woman. Which isn’t to say I don’t care deeply about the male characters in the book; I do. But ultimately it’s...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: The Life and Death of Sophie Stark.

--Marshal Zeringue