Meg Wolitzer Explores the Meaning of Early Talent and the Nature of Envy in The Interestings

March 27, 2013
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The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
The Interestings
by Meg Wolitzer
ISBN: 978 159448 8399
(Riverhead Books /Penguin April 2013)

Meg Wolitzer, New York Timest bestselling author
Meg Wolitzer

Meg Wolitzer Explores the Meaning of Early Talent
and the Nature of Envy in The Interestings

An exclusive Authorlink AUDIO interview with The
New York Times
bestselling author, discussing her latest novel
April 2013 Authorlink Edition

Meg Wolitzer

Play 19-minute audio interview

ONE OF AMAZON’S TOP TEN “BIG BOOKS FOR SPRING”

ONE OF THE “MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2013”—The Millions

“A MUST READ FOR 2013”—Houston Chronicle

“Like Virginia Woolf in The Waves, Meg Wolitzer gives us the full picture here, charting
her characters’ lives from the self-dramatizing of adolescence, through the resignation of middle age, to the attainment of a wisdom that holds all the intensities of life in a single, sustained chord, much like this book itself.  The wit, intelligence, and deep feeling of Wolitzer’s writing are extraordinary, and The Interestings brings her achievement, already so steadfast and remarkable, to an even higher level.”  —JEFFREY EUGENIDES

The Chicago Tribune and Newsday have likened Meg Wolitzer’s ability to tackle big American issues to that of Tom Wolfe, Jonathan Franzen and Rick Moody, while Vanity Fair has called her a “stealth feminist” who “expertly teases out the socio-sexual power dynamics between men and women.” Regularly invoking comparisons to the great male titans of American literature, Wolitzer retains a voice that is all her own and one that is unafraid to challenge the very canon to which she is compared.

In this Authorlink AUDIO interview, she talks about talent, artistic confidence and the role of luck in success.

As “a writer who gets better and better with each succeeding book” (Newsday), Wolitzer now delivers an ambitious and career-culminating novel about early talent and what becomes of it; and the quiet envy we may feel even toward the people we love most.  Wide in scope and populated with complex and appealing characters, The dazzling, panoramic novel is about what becomes of early talent, and the roles that art, money, and even envy can play in close friendships.

The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.

The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules’s now-married best friends, become shockingly successful—true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken.

In a provocative essay in the New York Times Book Review this past spring, Wolitzer discussed the different way that men and women’s writing is perceived in the world of literary fiction, generating heated conversation among the literary community and a mounting anticipation for THE INTERESTINGS, the newest novel from this bestselling author and perceptive cultural observer. Having already won over Pulitzer-Prize winner Jeffrey Eugenidies and been named by Amazon as one of its Top Ten Big Books for Spring, THE INTERESTINGS is proving to be the literary novel of the season, with coverage already lined up in everything from Elle, Vanity Fair, and Marie Claire to Reader’s Digest, Cosmopolitan and Real Simple,among others.

THE INTERESTINGS is a landmark novel, reaffirming that “Meg Wolitzer deserves to be a household name” (San Francisco Chronicle) and cements her place among the best novelists of our day.

Meg Wolitzer talked with Authorlink while on a book tour in April 2013. The tour scheduled appearances in New York City, Portland, Pleasanton, A, Sebastopol, CA, Hudson-on-Hastings, NY, Chicago and Indianapolis.

–Doris Booth

 

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This post was written by Doris Booth