Sunday, June 14, 2015

Jen Grow

Jen Grow is the author of My Life as a Mermaid, and Other Stories.

From her Q & A with Caroline Leavitt:

A lot of the stories have to do with water, which fascinated me. Even the cover, which is beautiful, shows two bodies under water. There’s that sense of floating through life, and not really being a part of it--at least for me. Could you comment?

I really like to swim. I turn into an eight year old kid when I’m near a body of water. Even now, forty years later, I still do this weird thing where I sort of plop headfirst into the pool so I can feel disoriented for a few seconds. I do it on the sly now, because let’s face it, I’m a middle-aged woman and it’s embarrassing when kids and adults ask me if I’m trying to teach myself to dive. And also, I swim where Michael Phelps and other Olympic athletes train. The pool is full of serious, vigorous swimmers, and then there’s me on the side, doing my head-plop into the water. Just so I can get dizzy and momentarily separate myself from the world. The muffling effect of water is such a great thing! That says way more about me than I probably should admit, but you’re right about my characters floating through life without being a part of it. That’s me, to some degree, a fish trying to describe water. Monet’s impressionism, I’ve heard, was born partially out of his nearsightedness. Maybe my writing is the same: I have blurry, aquatic vision and so I...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue