Thursday, January 10, 2008

"The Kept Man"

Jami Attenberg is the author of the story collection Instant Love. She has written for Jane, Salon, Nylon, Print, the San Francisco Chronicle, Entertainment Weekly, and Time Out New York, and her fiction has appeared in Nerve, Pindeldyboz, Spork, and Bullfight Review.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her debut novel The Kept Man, and reported the following:
My Page 69 comes in at the very end of a chapter, so it's actually just the second half of a paragraph, but it is very representative of the book. The Kept Man is about a woman married to an artist who has been in a coma for six years, and a good portion of it is reminiscence about their life together in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. In this portion of the book, Jarvis, the narrator, is taking a cab home from a somewhat acrimonious meeting with Martin's art dealer, and ends up passing a really lovely little waterfront park in Williamsburg. It has a smashing view of Manhattan, and in the summertime this park is always packed with all kinds of locals for the sunset. I love to ride my bike down there and connect with the community. The Kept Man is as much the story of the relationship between Jarvis and her husband as it is a love letter to the neighborhood. I absolutely had to include this park in my book.

Page 69, The Kept Man:

And while the sun lowered in the sky, achingly slow at first, and then rapidly, as if someone were tugging on the sun with a string, we would talk about the city, make up stories about the people in all the tall buildings, how unhappy they must be so high up in the air. Us against the world, as we sat on the edge of Brooklyn. Then we'd make out like we were in high school, holding hands, sweaty, his palms occasionally brushing my breasts, secretly, sneakily. "I can't wait to get you home baby," he'd say.

"Take the next right," I tell the driver. I can't stand it anymore.
Read an excerpt from The Kept Man and learn more about the author and her work at Jami Attenberg's website and her blog.

Watch the two short films inspired by The Kept Man: Man and No Use Crying.

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

--Marshal Zeringue