Sunday, December 1, 2013

Meg Wolitzer

Meg Wolitzer's latest novel is The Interestings.

From her Q & A with Jane Ciabattari for The Daily Beast:

Your six main characters, “The Interestings,” meet at an artsy summer camp called “Spirit-in-the-Woods.” Is there such a place? (I was reminded of the MacDowell Colony, where we first met.)

In the summer of 1974, I attended a summer camp in the Berkshires that no longer exists. It was an extraordinary place, and I feel a little self-conscious saying "It changed my life," but I think it did. I came home quivering with excitement about my new friends, and about art, which I suddenly thought of as "Art." Like my main character Jules in my novel, I'd grown up in the suburbs. Unlike her, my mother was a writer, so I came from a house filled with good books. And my parents had always taken us into the city to MOMA and to see what were known as "arthouse" movies. But you probably can't do all that with your parents and have it change your life; you have to do it on your own. It wasn't until I could go off and enter that world by myself that I came to really love it and feel excited by it. My closest friend, to this day, is someone I met that summer. And I think I took that early experience and tried to replicate it all over the place over the years, so that in fact when I went to MacDowell and Yaddo, I suppose I did in a sense think of them in a similar way to how I'd thought of the summer of 1974. I made close friends at those artists' colonies, too. There's something about being in a place where everyone takes their work seriously that can lead to...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue