Thursday, August 2, 2012

"Small Damages"

Beth Kephart is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books. She teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Pennsylvania.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Small Damages, and reported the following:
On page 69 of Small Damages, we are not in southern Spain, where most of the novel takes place. We are not on the cortijo, not in the company of the stubborn old cook, not near the beautiful young man who tends the cortijo horses, not near the acres of bulls, and the roads are not dusty. We are, instead, in suburban Philadelphia, a flashback moment for my heroine, Kenzie. She is remembering a late night with her best American friends. The stories they would tell to each other. The comfort they took from each other. The comforts of what Kenzie always knew as home. They have climbed through an abandoned shelter, having fled the prom. They are settling in among bat droppings and wings. They are thinking about the future, imagining all the changes that will come with graduation.

Kenzie has no idea, as she sits—none, yet—that her future is beyond all imagining. That she will not head off to Syracuse University in the fall. That she will not stay with her boyfriend. That she will not summer with these best friends on the Jersey shore. Her future is different. Her future is already beating within. Her future is the baby she doesn’t know she’s having yet.

Turn the page, and we’re back at the cortijo. But on page 69, the future hasn’t happened yet.
Learn more about the book and author at Beth Kephart's website.

--Marshal Zeringue