Wednesday, April 1, 2020

"The Everlasting"

Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She received a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She is the author of We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835, and the novels The Story of Land and Sea and Free Men. Her writing has also appeared in The Oxford American, Granta, Literary Hub, Garden & Gun, Catapult, and Lenny. She lives in New Orleans, and currently serves as the Eudora Welty Chair for Southern Literature at Millsaps College.

Smith applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Everlasting, and reported the following:
The Everlasting tells four different Roman stories, across four centuries, and page 69 puts us in the year 1559, amidst one of Giulia de' Medici's dilemmas: whether to sleep with her new, not-beloved husband, or to be faithful to a former lover, who has left her pregnant. Someone nailed horns over the door to their house, a signal to the owner that he's being cuckolded, and Giulia's maid swears she hasn't told anyone her lady's secret.
Giulia reached for the bowl Paola now kept on the vanity. She held it in her lap until the wave calmed. “I hadn’t heard of the horns. It’s rather clever, as long as he’s the one shamed.”

Paola rolled a stocking up her lady’s leg, her eyes still wet with fear. “You’re half of a sort of daughter to me, you know that, and I don’t fight only for my own position when I tell you to go kindly with him. You Medici think it’s a farce, but I know of men, and not a hundred thousand ducats can declaw them. If you want to call it a lie and make me leave, I will, and it’ll go easier for you.”

Giulia pulled her feet back and leaned toward the kneeling nursemaid. “If Christ himself swanned down for the second coming, I’d still choose you. That’s my opinion of men.”
I laughed when I read this section! I could tell you all day long that the book has nothing to do with male behavior and my judgment thereon, but perhaps an underlying bias shines through here. This is a book about love -- spiritual and romantic, sacred and profane -- and built within love is the possibility of disappointment. One of the central narrators is the Devil, who's still reeling from having his heart broken by God; no one is immune. Each of these characters -- a child martyr, a monk, a princess, a biologist -- is searching for a more stable meaning to their lives, some foundation that can hold them up as they're buffeted by love's vicissitudes. Sometimes that's faith; in this scene, for the irreverent Giulia, it's friendship.
Visit Katy Simpson Smith's website.

Writers Read: Katy Simpson Smith.

My Book, The Movie: The Everlasting.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 30, 2020

"Pride of Eden"

Taylor Brown grew up on the Georgia coast. He has lived in Buenos Aires, San Francisco, and the mountains of western North Carolina. His books include the story collection In the Season of Blood and Gold and the novels Fallen Land and The River of Kings. All three books were finalists for the Southern Book Prize.

Brown applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Pride of Eden, and reported the following:
Page 69 includes a short, nice little scene between Anse Caulfield, the former racehorse jockey and soldier of fortune who owns Little Eden, the exotic animal sanctuary at the heart of the novel, and Anse's long-time partner, Tyler, the sanctuary's veterinarian. While trying to wrangle an escaped lioness, Henrietta, Anse was mauled -- though he and Tyler have differing attitudes about whether the lion, a long-time resident of the sanctuary, intended to hurt him.
Anse lay facedown on the bed that evening, shirtless. His scabs were finally beginning to peel away, leaving pink stripes of scar that itched. Tyler straddled him, squeezing the anti-itch ointment from a tube.

“All I’m saying is this. A lion—or any cat, for that matter—keeps her claws retracted until she’s ready to use them. Henrietta’s were out.”

Anse squeezed shut his eyes. He thought of Henri dead in the driveway of that empty house. Her heart exploded, oozing over the pavement. Her claws buried in his back. He turned his head, speaking from the side of his mouth.

“Automatic response when the bullet hit her,” he said. “Her claws coming out.”

Tyler shook her head. “Couldn’t be, Anse. Primary flaccidity—an animal’s muscles relax instantly at the moment of death.”

Anse turned his head, winding one eye up at her.

“They teach you that up at Cornell?”

Tyler leaned over him, her breasts brushing his back. Her lips grazed his ear.

“No,” she said. “You did.”

Anse mashed his forehead into the mattress, growled. Tyler bent closer.

“It’s better this way, don’t you see?” Her lips chased his ear.

“She died wild.”

At the word, a tingle ran up Anse’s spine. A drove of tiny beasts uncaged by her voice, loosed under his skin. His blood flew. Anse turned over beneath her. He buried his thumbs in the hollows of her thighs, smiling.

“Come here, you.”
If someone browsing in a bookstore or library opened the book to this page, I think this scene would give them a pretty good idea of the novel, exploring the mystery and moral entanglements of human-animal relationships, and giving them a taste of Anse's stubborn, slightly curmudeognly nature -- slightly akin, perhaps, to the Hayduke character in Edward Abbey's work. That said, most of the book takes place outside, and there's a good bit of action, which you don't see in this scene.
Visit Taylor Brown's website.

My Book, The Movie: The River of Kings.

The Page 69 Test: The River of Kings.

Writers Read: Taylor Brown.

My Book, The Movie: Pride of Eden.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 27, 2020

"Felicity Carrol and the Murderous Menace"

Patricia Marcantonio was born in Pueblo, Colorado. She has won awards for her journalism, short stories and screenplays. Her children's book Red Ridin’ in the Hood and Other Cuentos has earned an Anne Izard Storyteller’s Choice Award and was named an Americas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature Commended Title, and one of the Wilde Awards Best Collections to Share with recommendations from Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. She now lives in Idaho.

Marcantonio applied the Page 69 Test to Felicity Carrol and the Murderous Menace, her first Felicity Carrol mystery, and reported the following:
Felicity Carrol, my Victorian amateur detective of the Felicity Carrol series, is sometimes seen as almost too perfect. Sure she’s brilliant, wealthy and beautiful. But she is very human and flawed. She has major daddy issues. Her wealthy father neglected her so she turned to knowledge as a substitute to his love. While she can quote historical facts with her formidable memory, she is still young and learning as she goes about human nature, particularly its ability to turn evil. At times, she depends too much on science and not enough on intuition so she’ll stumble while charging ahead. Most telling is the reason she wants to solve murders and it’s not for her own fame or ego, which can sometimes flare up.

She wants justice. She has compassion for the dead.

Page 69 is a perfect example. Felicity visits the grave of a murder victim in a lonely pauper’s cemetery above the Montana mining town where the story is set. The graveyard is sad and forgotten with overgrown weeds and fallen wooden markers. The victim was a prostitute. Standing at the grave site, she can empathize with the dead’s poor life. Felicity had wanted to bring roses but couldn’t find a florist shop. Instead she brings a vow the find the killer because he’d taken everything away from the victim. And that’s very human.
Visit Patricia Marcantonio's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

"The Degenerates"

J. Albert Mann is the author of six novels for children. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Her recent work of historical fiction about the early life of Margaret Sanger is What Every Girl Should Know. Born in New Jersey, Mann now lives in Boston with her children, cat, and husband listed in order of affection.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Degenerates, and reported the following:
In 1928, the U.S. government, using the false science of eugenics was busy incarcerating Americans with disabilities for nothing more than having a disability. All were given life sentences.

On page 69 of The Degenerates, one of the main characters, fourteen-year-old London is being dragged back to the institution after an escape attempt. This time, the School for Idiotic and Feebleminded Youth (first established in South Boston) is not playing around, and they take her to what the inmates termed “the cages.”
Leaving the nurse at the door, the two women led London down a series of hallways. This building was darker and dirtier than the one she’d been in the night before with the girls. It also smelled worse. London had lived in enough tenements to be overly familiar with the stench. Piss and shit. The group passed rooms that looked uninhabitable, but from the coughs, moans, and shuffling sounds emanating from them, it was clear that they had occupants.
Always an interesting test, I’d say this page is not necessarily representative of the book, but a great representation of the institution this young woman (and thousands like her) endured.
Visit J. Albert Mann's website.

Writers Read: J. Albert Mann.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 23, 2020

"The Silence"

Daisy Pearce was born in Cornwall and grew up on a smallholding surrounded by hippies. She read Stephen King’s Cujo and The Hamlyn Book of Horror far too young and has been fascinated with the macabre ever since.

Pearce applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Silence, and reported the following:
Page 69 is the end of a chapter in which the protagonist Stella finds herself at home after a stay in hospital. She is on the phone to her aunt and it is mostly dialogue, an ebb and flow of conversation that introduces Stella to a doctor who her aunt thinks can help her. It is the first sense Stella has that she is losing her grip on reality, a matter not helped by the vodka she is slugging from the bottle found in the freezer. The final line: ‘Is this how it happens? Slowly, destroying everything, like the descent of lava’ reveals her helplessness in the face of what she believes to be her mind unravelling.

This is a pivotal moment in the text, representing one of the main themes of the story - fear of insanity - and revealing Stella's propensity to addiction. It also gives an insight into her current state of mind and her relationship to one of the only people willing to help her.
Follow Daisy Pearce on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 21, 2020

"The Between"

David Hofmeyr was born in South Africa and lives in London and Paris. In 2013 he graduated from Bath Spa University with an MA in Writing for Young People. The Between is Hofmeyr's second novel. His first book, Stone Rider, was published in 2015 and was shortlisted for the prestigious Branford Boase award for first-time novelists. He divides his time between writing and working as a strategist for Ogilvy & Mather.

Hofmeyr applied the Page 69 Test to The Between and reported the following:
Is page 69 representative of the book?

Yes, I think so.

It begins with the lead character, Ana, in a world that looks and feels like her own but is not. We’ve plunged into a mirror world, a parallel universe. Everything is familiar but different, charged with a primeval energy. Ana is afraid. And yet Malik, the mysterious boy pacing her room, is full of ease and swagger. And danger:
“Where are you from?” I demand, trying to look unimpressed, but my stomach is in knots and I feel a cold sweat coming on.

“Out there,” he says, waving a hand at the window, sauntering through the room, looking at my bookcase, tilting his head to examine the spines.

“Out there ... where?”

“Many places.”

He moves on, scanning my shelves. He lifts a tome. Philip Pullman. His Dark Materials. He knocks it back between the others with a smile. He’s calm, in control and cool, but not detached. Beneath it all, I sense a hum of raw energy. Here is someone who isn’t afraid. Who doesn’t know the meaning of fear.
I enjoyed going meta in this scene. This is a story about a multiverse. So, I like the idea of Malik finding His Dark Materials and smiling to himself. Yes, we imagine him thinking. There are worlds out there, beyond the known.

The page concludes with Ana threatening to go to the police and this marks a shift in attitude from Malik. He switches from aloof to forceful. The feeling of the scene tilts. This is not all fun and games. It’s serious.
“Look, I’m gonna call the police. If you don’t—”

“The police?” He laughs. “Gimme a break ... the police don’t matter, Ana. Not now. Not here. They can’t help.”
This quick turn of emotion is a hallmark of the story. The aim is to unsettle the reader. To throw them into limbo, to make them feel the range of emotions they, or anyone else, might feel waking up to a strange reality that is not their own.

The Between is about a girl who feels lost. She navigates her life between divorced parents, trying to find her place in the world. That’s the real story here. It charts the aftermath of divorce. The damage wrought. A loss of identity. The idea of crossing multiple universes is simply a metaphor for this feeling of limbo.

This is a story about friendship and finding courage and identity in a world that can seem utterly beyond our control. It’s about taking back control. It draws on all the sci-fi elements I love in films like Inception and The Matrix. And if you detect any undertones of Steven King in The Between, then we’re definitely on the same page...

Which, in this case, is page 69.
Visit David Hofmeyr's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Between.

Writers Read: David Hofmeyr.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 19, 2020

"Darling Rose Gold"

Stephanie Wrobel grew up in Chicago but has been living in the UK for the last three years with her husband and Cockapoo, Moose Barkwinkle. She has an MFA from Emerson College and has had short fiction published in Bellevue Literary Review. Before turning to fiction, she worked as a creative copywriter at various advertising agencies.

Wrobel applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Darling Rose Gold, and reported the following:
From page 69:
I like to think my time in prison was made easier not because of my size, but my charisma. The key—inside prison and out—is befriending the people in power. Once I had the guards and warden in my pocket, the inmates fell in line too. They began to see me as more than an obnoxiously jolly doppelganger of the Kool-Aid man. I became useful.
This passage from page 69 is representative of Darling Rose Gold as a whole because of its observations about power. In a sense, the entire book is one big power struggle between mother and daughter. Smaller struggles play out as well, between Patty and her neighbors, Patty and the justice system, Rose Gold and her friend Alex, Rose Gold and her neighbor Mrs. Stone. The list goes on and on. Patty starts at an advantage against her daughter because she knows how to play the game, how to manipulate people to get what she wants. When the reader first meets Rose Gold, she has no idea—but she’s a quick learner.
Visit Stephanie Wrobel's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

"A Reasonable Doubt"

Phillip Margolin has written over twenty novels, most of them New York Times bestsellers, including Gone But Not Forgotten, Lost Lake, and Violent Crimes. In addition to being a novelist, he was a long time criminal defense attorney with decades of trial experience, including a large number of capital cases.

Margolin applied the Page 69 Test to A Reasonable Doubt, his third novel in the series featuring Robin Lockwood, ex-MMA fighter and Yale law school graduate, and reported the following:
In A Reasonable Doubt, Robert Chesterfield, a magician, is murdered on stage before a packed house in 2020 and no one knows who killed him. I had a ball figuring out how to commit the murder and I also learned how to create The Chamber of Death, Chesterfield's greatest magic trick, with the help of lawyer/magicians Marshall Amiton and Robert Kabacy. Page 69 is set in 1997. Overzealous deputy district attorney Peter Ragland arrests Chesterfield for two murders and an attempted murder. This is part of the back story and is told by retired attorney Regina Barrister, who represented Chesterfield twenty years before he was murdered. The scene on pages 69-70 shows the battle of wits between the DA and the brilliant magician.

If you were browsing in a bookstore and read page 69 you would get some idea of Chesterfield's character and Peter Ragland's lack of competence, which is a central feature of the the lengthy 1997-98 flashback. The magician is a major character in the book so reading page 69 would make you want to know more about him.
Visit Phillip Margolin's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: The Third Victim.

The Page 69 Test: The Perfect Alibi.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 16, 2020

"The Small Crimes Of Tiffany Templeton"

Richard Fifield earned his MFA from Sarah Lawrence College in upstate New York. For the past twenty years he has worked as a social worker for adults with intellectual disabilities, while volunteering as a creative writing teacher in Missoula, Montana. His first novel, The Flood Girls, was published in 2016.

Fifield applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, The Small Crimes of Tiffany Templeton, and reported the following:
In The Small Crimes Of Tiffany Templeton, page 69 is actually part of the epistolary sections of the novel—letters that Tiffany writes to her probation officer explaining the nature of her crimes, and attempting to reconcile them with her past, especially her grief. The scene is a flashback to Tiffany in 7th grade, when her father is still alive, and her entire family is intact and having dinner together. Tiffany’s mother, imperious as always, has just declared that her gas station would not be inherited by her children, due to their incompetence. Tiffany’s father, the one reasonable and caring person in her life, remains silent. Ronnie, Tiffany’s older brother, does not: “You are a terrible person. Selfish and mean. I hope you die before you retire.” When he looks to Tiffany for back up, she stutters and stammers and tries to find words that are cutting and mean. Instead, she gets flustered: “I hope your stupid gas station blows up!” Tiffany takes pride in her strength and her wit, and is embarrassed by her lame response. When she leaves the dinner table, and flees into her bedroom, her father comes to offer solace, and together they sneak out of the house. He takes her to the pawn shop in the next town, where she buys her first leather jacket, and most importantly, her first typewriter. Her father is the only person who encourages her dreams of being a writer.

Yes, browsers who happened to turn to page 69 would find the very distillation of the plot of this book. It happens to be the scene in which we understand the power dynamic between Tiffany’s parents, as well as the scene that establishes her mother’s domineering and unreasonable child rearing. Most importantly, we discover where Tiffany found her metaphorical armor, and her weapon of choice: the typewriter.

I would hope readers get a great idea of the whole work—even though it’s a flashback, and in the print version, her letters are actually in typewriter font, the page is the first revelation into Tiffany’s past. Hopefully, the reader will see a young girl shaped by shame and a lack of self-worth, and in the last paragraph, how she found hope, and how her relationship with her father was the one thing in her life that was constant and healthy.
Visit Richard Fifield's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 14, 2020

"The Deep"

Alma Katsu is the author of The Hunger, a reimagining of the story of the Donner Party with a horror twist. The Hunger made NPR’s list of the 100 Best Horror Stories, was named one of the best novels of 2018 by the Observer, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Books (and more), and was nominated for a Stoker and Locus Award for best horror novel.

The Taker, her debut novel, has been compared to the early works of Anne Rice and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander for combining historical, the supernatural, and fantasy into one story. The Taker was named a Top Ten Debut Novel of 2011 by Booklist, was nominated for a Goodreads Readers Choice award, and has been published in over 10 languages. It is the first in an award-winning trilogy that includes The Reckoning and The Descent.

Katsu applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Deep, and reported the following:
Abroad the RMS Titanic. Two of the main characters, married, are debating whether to attend a séance:
“Let it go, Mark,” she said with a sigh. “They all agreed to participate, anyway, after Madeleine Astor insisted. I’m sure she simply can’t think of any other form of postdinner entertainment. And you must admit you’re curious, aren’t you?”

There was more she could say, wasn’t there? The weight and power of Lillian everywhere in their thoughts. He had to wonder, as she did. She tried not to admit how often she felt that woman’s presence, looking over her shoulder. Would she follow them to the bitter end?

“It’s disrespectful. A sick indulgence. I beg you, Caroline: let the dead rest in peace.”

Caroline’s hands shook as she smoothed her dress, and she refused to look Mark in the eye. Let the dead rest in peace. And yet he still carried Lillian’s diary like some kind of dirty secret, kept in his breast pocket close to his heart. As if Caroline didn’t know. As if she didn’t know everything—the horrible, shaking breath and piercing cry of his nightmares, the same ones, she was sure, that wove stealthily into her own on the nights she slept at all.
This book was a delight to write, but also a challenge because it’s big and sprawling. Plots and sub-plots. Like The Hunger, it has an ensemble cast, and the married couple in this scene figures large in the novel. Mark and Caroline are newly married and yet the ghost of Mark’s previous love hangs over them. For this sub-plot, I tried to evoke Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, keeping the reader guessing as to which is the wronged woman: the dead Lillian, or the new wife Caroline?

The novel draws on two major issues of the times: class inequality (this was the era of ultra-rich dynastic families) and women’s rights. The Deep is quite Gothic, as is appropriate for the era, with its broad interest in the occult and spiritualism.

The story follows a young, poor Irish girl, Annie Hebbley, who gets a job as a stewardess on the Titanic. She’s obviously running away from something, but we’re not sure what. She finds herself drawn to one of the passengers, Mark Fletcher (he of Page 69!) and his infant daughter, though she can’t say why. Before long, Annie is at the center of a lot of strange goings-on aboard the Titanic and, just as things come to a head, the ship hits the iceberg.

Cut to four years later. Annie, her memory wiped clean, is released from an asylum in Scotland. Violet, who was also a stewardess on the Titanic, talks Annie into taking a job as a nurse on the Britannic, the Titanic’s sister ship. The Britannic has been converted into a hospital ship for the war effort and is in dire need of nurses. Annie agrees, but she’s just started to adjust to her new life when she thinks she sees Mark Fletcher among the wounded. But didn’t he die that night, on the Titanic? No sooner are the two reunited than the strange goings on start up again, forcing Annie to confront her past and her role in the tragedies.
Learn more about the book and author at Alma Katsu's website.

Writers Read: Alma Katsu.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 12, 2020

"The Survivor"

Bridget Tyler grew up in Berkeley, California. She went on to attend NYU, living in New York and London before completing her degree and moving to Los Angeles to work in the film and television industry as an executive and writer. She now lives in Oregon with her husband, who is a robotics professor at Oregon State University, and her daughter.

Tyler applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Survivor, a sequel to The Pioneer, and reported the following:
Page 69 of The Survivor turns out to feature a rousing speech from from my hero's beloved grandfather, who's also taken over leadership of her new planet now that a tragedy has transformed their team from pioneers to refugees, survivors of a dead world.
"The task seems beyond the scope of human imagination. It is certainly beyond me. But thankfully, we don't depend on my wisdom alone." He sucks in a breath and sighs it out. "My beloved wife died when our daughter was still a child. But she taught me a lot before she was taken from us. She always said a big problem is just a lot of little problems swimming together, like a school of fish. So if you want to solve a big problem, you just have to catch one of the little ones and gut it. Then you do it again and again until you're done."

He chuckles, almost to himself. "She was a ferocious woman, my Cleo. Dauntless. I can only hope at piece of her is still with me. Because the task facing us is monumental. But I know that we can accomplish it, one little fish at a time."

He rests a hand on the memorial stone.

"But first, we much honor our loss. Grieve. Then, tomorrow, we will face all those little problems. Together."

"Humanity is not lost. We are found. This planet is a new beginning. A clean slate, untouched and waiting for us to shape a new world. A new future."
Wow, the page 69 is pretty illuminating in this case! It's not exactly representative of the book, because it's not focused on Joanna and her friends. But it does outline a major theme of the book, and a lesson Joanna has to learn in order to untangle the mess she and her team find themselves in. It also hints at a huge mystery in the Watson family backstory Joanna will have to unravel in order to save Tau. Gah, I want to say more but I can't because of all the spoilers!!! Guess you'll just have to read and see how this passage pays off.
Visit Bridget Tyler's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Survivor.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

"The Lost Book of Adana Moreau"

Michael Zapata is a founding editor of the award-winning MAKE Literary Magazine. He is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for Fiction; the City of Chicago DCASE Individual Artist Program award; and a Pushcart Nomination. As an educator, he taught literature and writing in high schools servicing drop out students. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and has lived in New Orleans, Italy, and Ecuador. He currently lives in Chicago with his family.

Zapata applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, The Lost Book of Adana Moreau, and reported the following:
From page 69:
One night, half-starving, he meets a jazz musician who tells the man with gray eyes he moonlights as a smuggler. I can use a man like you, the jazz musician tells him. A man like me? he asks. A man without an Earth, says the jazz musician.

Traveling through hidden stone portals on the outskirts of the city, the jazz musician and the man with gray eyes transport illicit arms, food, and technology in and out of countless other Earths. A few of the Earths are variations of his own before its ruin, but most are wildly different. One Earth is almost entirely covered in vast, warm seas, with people etching out a living among a dwindling number of archipelagos. On another, the ice age never ended. The men and women on this Earth ride wooly mammoths and build enormous machines resembling arachnids. On yet another, the Aztec Empire has persisted through the centuries and was the first civilization to develop and drop a nuclear bomb in 1897. On more than a few Earths, there are cities in the sky. The jazz musician explains to him that the cityships, as they are called, are filled with refugees from Earths that are no longer habitable or no longer exist. Even the city of New Orleans on this Earth is a cityship that landed long ago. Goddamn entire multiverse is full of refugees like you, he says and then he starts to laugh. It takes the man with gray eyes a moment to understand that he is laughing at the cityships, not at him. There are no traces of the Dominicana on any of the Earths to which they transport goods, nor on any of the refugee cityships the man with gray eyes searches by himself during lonely nights that show no signs of ever ending.
The Lost Book of Adana Moreau is the story of a Latin American science fiction writer and the lives her lost manuscript, A Model Earth, unites decades later in post-Katrina New Orleans. Quite by happy accident, the Page 69 Test takes us directly into a plot summary of the lost science fiction manuscript itself, which follows “a man with gray eyes” living in New Orleans as he searches parallel Earths for a lost love named the Dominicana. I was happily surprised to find that a good number of the predominant themes in The Lost Book of Adana Moreau – exile, refugees, multiplicity, parallel universes, home, and the end of history – are found on page 69, even if the page itself doesn’t contain the central narrative of the novel. The “man with gray eyes” is lost, like so many of the novel’s characters, in the story of the multiverse, which offers both dystopian pasts and hopeful futures. According to Leslie Hinson’s review on BookPage “much of the novel is a story-within-a story, a mise en abyme; it is a labyrinthine ode to storytellers,” and I think that’s a wonderfully accurate portrayal of the structure of the novel and Page 69.
Visit Michael Zapata's website.

Writers Read: Michael Zapata.

--Marshal Zeringue