Monday, July 6, 2015

Maggie Mitchell

Maggie Mitchell's debut novel is Pretty Is.

From her Q & A with Caroline Leavitt:

I always want to know what sparks a book? What question was haunting you that propelled you into this particular story?

“Haunting” is a good word for it! I was haunted by a newspaper article I read long ago. Over the years, all of the details were stripped away, but the skeleton story that remained was this: two young girls who have never met are abducted by a strange man. After a period of time in captivity, they escape. And that’s all.

I don’t remember when I read the article. I think the abduction might have taken place in California, but I wouldn’t swear to it. I have a glimmer of a sense that the man treated the girls appallingly; maybe they were kept in a basement; probably they were held prisoner for days rather than weeks. But all I could think was: And then what? Had they become friends? Would their parents let them keep in touch? What would they come to mean to each other, over the years? What would they remember? Would their memories differ? How would their relationship mediate the experience itself? Eventually these questions began to produce a story that had almost nothing to do with the original fragment of disturbing news. It became, for me, a story about female friendship, the intensity and unruliness of adolescent desire, the fraught...[read on]
Visit Maggie Mitchell's Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue