Monday, January 7, 2008

Kathleen George

From a Q & A with Kathleen George about her new novel, Afterimage:

How important is Pittsburgh to your novels?

KG. Oh, integral! It's the mood and the ethos — a gritty, cheerful working class city, full of ethnic neighborhoods and plenty of bridges. There are supposedly 446 of them, and if that's true, that's more than there are in Venice, Italy. I love putting my cops and criminals on the bridges, the parkway, in the parks.

Do your characters make the city the butt of their jokes?

KG. No. That happens more often from people who don't know the city. And it happened more often in the past. I can think of famous moments in film — the Preston Sturges Sullivan's Travels, the dark Requiem for a Heavyweight. Those films have outsider jokes about the city in its dirty days. But it's clean now, actually beautiful, and Pittsburghers love their city. After all, it was once again named the #1 livable city in America by Places Rated Almanac for 2007. It had been #1 in 1985 and remained the only city in America to make it to the top twenty every year. Besides, I think of our city as coming into its own lately. It will be featured in the film of Chabon's The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. Even the young boy, Shane, in Weeds, trying to save his family from disaster, says he's done research on the internet and he knows where they need to go to make everything right — Pittsburgh. And there's a new Kelsey Grammer comedy series called Back to You set here — the characters are news anchors.
Read the entire interview.