Monday, July 30, 2007

Jacquelyn Mitchard

Jacquelyn Mitchard’s first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was named by USA Today as one of the ten most influential books of the past 25 years – second only to the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

Her new novel Still Summer is due out in early August.

Here are two questions and answers from her website:

Why such sad stories?

I don’t think they’re sad. They challenging. They’re about ordinary people under pressure of extraordinary circumstance. Those pressures reveal people. They reveal character in a way that a great vacation at the beach (unless there is a shark) doesn’t. So while I don’t think I will always write sad stories (in fact, ‘Still Summer’ is more harrowing than emotionally wrought) I write about what’s on my mind and heart – the connections between people, people thrust out of their comfort zones, pity, honor, love, terror (Did I just make that up?)

* * * *

What’s your all-time favorite novel?

‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ by Betty Smith. It’s always thought of as a middle-grade book; but it’s filled with truly gritty accounts of the immigrant experience, from death by alcoholism to the molestation of a child. How simply and elegant it is. It’s just simply amazing what she did. In fact, my daughter’s name is Francie Nolan.
Read the entire Q & A.

--Marshal Zeringue