Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Victoria Shorr is a writer and political activist who lived in Brazil for ten years. Currently she lives in Los Angeles, where she cofounded the Archer School for Girls, and is now working to found a college-prep school for girls on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Shorr applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Backlands, and reported the following:
From page 69:
…The priest came out afterwards with holy water, and everyone came by to stare at the gashes in the door. One old tracker said it was the work of a jaguar, but the children were adamant. It was the lobishomem, the Wolf Man, they'd heard him clearly, even if they hadn't looked him in his terrible face.

What would have happened next, she wondered? Not to the children, but to her, if he came in here? What would he do? Would there be love before the murder? He was a wolf—but he was a man, too. Which was he more? Wolf or man?

She walked over to the shutters, closed tight, as everyone's were, every door and shutter in the whole Sertão, shut and barred before nightfall. The nights were filled with danger, werewolves, bandits, terrors all, to be shut out. But what, she wondered, was she afraid of? Really, what she was afraid of any more?
Page 69 ends a passage where Maria Bonita has just heard about the werewolf coming to her cousins' house in the woods. She is married to the shoemaker then, stuck, trapped in a loveless marriage. Her husband is old, impotent. He has never touched her. She lives in silence. She is desperate. Alone. This page depicts her loneliness and desperation at its height. It is the last moment before radical change.
Visit Victoria Shorr's website.

--Marshal Zeringue