Sarah Domet is the author of The Guineveres.
From her Q&A with Caroline Leavitt:
Your premise, four girls all with the same name, abandoned at the same time, is genius. So what was haunting you in your life when you thought about this? Was there a question that you were wrestling with?--Marshal Zeringue
At the time I wrote The Guineveres, I was thinking about how much the stories of young women matter, but also how frequently our culture downplays their experiences, often as a way to elevate "more important"--or what I see as "more public"--stories. At the same time I was writing this novel, I was also reading Lives of the Saints, which only confirmed my suspicions. While stories of the male saints often described the valiant public deeds of these men, stories of female saints quite frequently highlighted the ways these women were left to privately suffer in their bodies. For female saints, their bodies became their best tools and weapons of faith, and so we see them refusing sex and marriage, marring their beauty with lye, starving themselves, sleeping on beds of stone and glass, and otherwise inflicting bodily pain. I was interested in exploring female embodiment as both limitation and possibility, and where better to investigate these questions than in girls on the cusp of womanhood?
I began writing The Guineveres shortly after I had taken a job that landed me in a town far away from family and friends. The novel seemed to spring, too, out of this personal experience of alienation and loneliness. As...[read on]