Lucinda Rosenfeld's new novel is Class. From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Class and for your main character, Karen?My Book, The Movie: The Pretty One.
A: The book was very much inspired and informed by my experience, first, exploring the public school system in Brooklyn, New York, where I live, in search of a kindergarten for my older daughter to attend; and, second, being a parent for the past six years in a mixed-race, mixed-income public school in a gentrifying--or, really, already gentrified--neighborhood.
Which is not to say that Class is an autobiographical work. But my angst and irritation over what I found to be a very inequitable school system--combined with an otherwise socially conscious parent population that seemed strangely apathetic about those inequities--definitely led me into the project.
I wanted Karen to stand in for the many well meaning, white, avowedly liberal mothers out there who, despite their belief systems, tend to act on fear when it comes to their own children.
But by making Karen Kipple a do-gooder by trade--she raises money for a hunger relief charity--I upped the ante slightly, since this is a woman who has devoted her life to helping those less fortunate than herself. Yet when it comes to her own daughter, Ruby, she can’t...[read on]