10-28-2007 11:14 PM
The Almost Moon's obsessions -- history, family, individuality, and the constant battle among the three -- were in part inspired by her grandmother's death at 96. "My mother was 73," says Sebold, "and I really felt like that was the first time she had gotten to live free upon the earth. And that was devastating to me -- that somebody could be so fully owned for the majority of their life."
Comparisons have already been drawn between Sebold and her still-living mother, and with Helen and her mother/victim (or is Helen the victim?). More from the EW interview:
"A neighbor who'd gotten wind of The Almost Moon's matricidal plot recently accosted her [Sebold's mother]and pronounced, "You look pretty good for a dead woman." So now when the author's mother goes walking in the morning, she wears a T-shirt that says "I Am Not a Fictional Character."
It's nice to know Sebold's mother has a sense of humor about the story line, because few critics do. A pre-publication review in the London Evening Standard newspaper is about the only favorable review out there. Sebold's agent was quoted in EW as saying, "Anyone who thinks it's easy to write the book that follows The Lovely Bones should give it another think. She [Sebold] goes out into the world with a bull's-eye on her back."
10-29-2007 03:38 PM
That's an interesting (and very defensive) quote from her agent. Second novels are almost always judged harshly, hence the phrase, "sophmore slump." Still, Ms. Sebold may laugh all the way to the bank. Reviews or not, the book is selling like hotcakes.
When I read the book, it never actually occurred to me that Alice Sebold had fantasies of killing her mother--as I do understand the concept of fiction. But it is good the lady has a sense of humor. Which is possibly more than I can say for her daughter. I don't know Alice Sebold, but I've heard her speak and met her on several occasions. I can't recall ever seeing her wear a garment that wasn't solid black. And a laugh riot the lady is not. I've had these superficial meetings with hundreds of writers and personality-wise, Sebold is notably unimpressive. I'm sure she's a very nice person in her private life, but from what I've seen, the darkness is not just in her writing.
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10-29-2007 10:58 PM