Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Sandra Novack’s fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, and Mississippi Review, among other publications. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times, and holds an MFA from Vermont College.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Precious, and reported the following:
"Sometimes in life," Natalia began, "you breathe even when you don't want to. Sometimes in life, you take the bad along with the good and rub them together until something, however small, shines." -- from page 69 of Precious.

I just read over this page again, from the fourth chapter of my debut, Precious, where mom Natalia is about to leave her two girls and husband and run off with another man. Here, Natalia is trying to tell nine-year-old Sissy a story in order to prepare her for being alone. The lines above, from page 69, have much thematic resonance. This page concerns itself with story telling: how we tell stories in order to cope with loss, and in order to remember our collective histories and those people from the past who have vanished. In telling a story, that which is gone is remembered again, and we breathe life back into the past. So the "Page 69 Test" seems to hold for Precious, as being representative of central ideas in the book.
Read an excerpt from Precious, and learn more about the author and her work at Sandra Novack's website.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue