Thursday, September 11, 2008

"City Dog"

Alison Pace is the author of the novels If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend, Pug Hill, Through Thick and Thin, and City Dog. Her non-fiction essays have appeared in several anthologies including Howl: A Collection of the Best Contemporary Dog Wit.

She applied the Page 69 Test to the newly released City Dog and reported the following:
I just applied the page 69 test to City Dog and I think page 69 is representative of one important theme of the book, which is the fact that after over ten years of not accomplishing quite what she set out to do, Amy Dodge, one of the narrators of City Dog (City Dog has three narrators: Amy, a children's book writer in New York, her dog Carlie, and one of her fictional characters, Robert Maguire) has the feeling that she is being erased from her life. Page 69 gets right at that in a scene in which Amy is being recast as the sidekick on a television show starring her dog (yes, really). Amy touches right on this feeling of inconsequentiality, as she wonders, "Is there nothing I can do to stop it? Again, I think of that dark-green blackboard with the words MY LIFE written across it in block letters. Only what I missed the first time was that my name, spelled correctly, was written out underneath it. AMY. What I missed the first time is that someone--or something--I can't see is slowly and methodically erasing my name."

I like this page, though I do wish there was a way one page could showcase all three narrators of this book, as their different voices and perspectives on the same events is one of my favorite aspects of this novel. I'm also quite partial to the chapters of the book that are narrated by Carlie, as Carlie is my dog in real life.

I regret the page break though because the first line of page 69, "thing can have such a way of falling so terribly short" is a much better line in its entirety. Herewith: "Maybe we all just want fiction because the real thing can have such a way of falling so terribly short."
Learn more about the book and author at Alison Pace's website, her blog, and Carlie's blog.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue