Sunday, June 3, 2018

Tom Perrotta

Tom Perrotta's latest novel is Mrs. Fletcher.

From the transcript of his Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross:

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. And if you're just joining us, my guest is writer Tom Perrotta. His new novel is called "Mrs. Fletcher." He also wrote the novels "Election" and "Little Children," which were made into films, and the novel "The Leftovers," which was adapted into the HBO series of the same name.

The son in this novel - the boy who is going to college and is in college for a good deal of the book - he's oblivious to girls as equals, to girls as, like, full human beings, to girls as sexual partners, as opposed to truly, like, sexual objects or appliances. And he just - really, he's oblivious.

PERROTTA: (Laughter) Yeah, and I, you know, it - when you read stories about sexual assault on campus, and frat parties and every - you just sort of - it does seem that there's some kind of stubborn culture of male entitlement that is somehow resistant to all of these pushes to change it. And, you know, as a writer, I just thought that was - it would be really interesting to try and get into the mind of a kid like this.

And, you know, I will say he's oblivious, but he does find himself attracted to a young woman who is very much on the other side of the divide. She's an activist. She sees herself as being very involved in social justice. They connect because they have autistic siblings. And he goes to a group that she leads to talk about the challenges of people with autistic siblings. But he goes there, mainly, because he's interested in her.

And I will say, over the course of the book, in some ways, she illuminates him. I don't know that she brings him into full consciousness. He's a very flawed and oblivious guy throughout. But...[read on]
Learn about Tom Perrotta's ten favorite books.

--Marshal Zeringue