Sunday, May 29, 2016

Elizabeth Wein

Elizabeth Wein was born in New York City, grew up abroad, and currently lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. She is an avid flyer of small planes. She also holds a PhD in Folklore from the University of Pennsylvania. Her books include the acclaimed Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire, and Black Dove, White Raven.

From her Q & A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: You write, "I see myself as slipping plausible characters and situations into a historical setting without changing the actual facts--a bit like a discreet time traveler." As you wrote this particular book, what did you see as the right blend of the historical and the fictional?

A: Actually, the most fictional thing about the book is the characters and their home. It’s 1930. Take the most unlikely American family possible: a black woman and a white woman and their children – give them the most unlikely of jobs, aerial photography – and take them to the most unlikely of places, the invented village of Tazma Meda in the Ethiopian highlands. It wouldn’t have been impossible, but it would have been unlikely.

I loved developing the unlikely family. I based Rhoda and Delia, the grown-ups, on my mother and her best friend in Jamaica, where we lived for three years when I was in elementary school. My mother Carol and her friend Rona raised their babies together for a couple of years, sharing clothes and chores, and often plunking their children into the same baby buggy or playpen.

I loved figuring out a plausible back-story for these two women that would allow them to work and...[read on]
Visit Elizabeth Wein's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Black Dove, White Raven.

--Marshal Zeringue