The Huffington Post just reviewed a book by Elizabeth Brundage, an author from our area who visited our Tuesday Book Group last fall. The reviewer reveals that he's met Ms. Brundage, and wonders how a seemingly well adjusted person could write scenes of deep depravity and desperation.
Um...what? My first reaction was to say, this is sexism--why should a writer who is a mom be any different from anyone else? And I think that's part of what I object to, but I think that people also wonder how tightly wound Stephen King and Chuck Palahniuk are, too. However, it's not with quite the same "but she seems like such a nice lady" attitude.(For the record, you can bring Stephen King with you to my barbecue. You can leave Chuck at home, thanks. I like his books...but...I'm not sure he'd mix in well with the neighbors.)
A Stranger Like You, which is getting many good reviews. He says,
"A Stranger Like You could not be better written; it is a showcase of clever plotting,
memorable characters and dialogue that reads as if it were overheard."
Though later, when he interviews Brundage, he has to say,
"You write brilliant descriptions and sharp dialogue. I'm wishing you huge success. But
this kind of story -- how large an audience do you feel it can attract? Who wants this? Who is your reader?"
And once again, I thought, What? What does this reviewer read? Does he not realize that people have been gobbling up books and flocking to movies about blood sucking fiends? Reading and watching stories about zombies? Rooting for the serial killer Dexter? (If you've only seen the Showtime tv series, the original Dexter character in the books by Jeffry Lindsay is a lot more crazy.)
Isn't that why we read? To safely explore the outer boundaries of human experience and emotions? So fire up the tea kettle, tuck in your lap blanket, and bring on the depravity, I say! Thanks, Elizabeth Brundage!