Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"Love Me Anyway"

Tiffany Hawk is writer living near Washington D.C. whose work has appeared in such places as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, National Geographic Traveler and on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Her debut novel, Love Me Anyway, is a darkly funny look into the emotional heart of the airline industry, with all its allure, loneliness, and ever-present temptations.

Hawk applied the Page 69 Test to Love Me Anyway and reported the following:
I was looking forward to this test, but I have to admit I also wondered how I would feel if it turned out to be a lame page. I couldn’t believe what I found – the one page that is simultaneously the most and least representative of the story. Page 69 opens the chapter called How to Be a Flight Attendant, the only chapter that is written in the second person. It’s meant to speak for all of the characters, and yet it isn’t from the perspective of a single one of them, though it does hint at Emily’s soon-to-ignite love affair.
How to be a Flight Attendant

There is only one way to survive life as a new flight attendant. Appear perfect. Luckily, this comes easy for you. You have been pleasing people all your life.

Arrive twenty minutes early for your four a.m. check-in. Carefully pin each strand of your hair into a wisp-free French twist. Buff your black high-heels on the Buffmaster electric shoe shiner in the pre-flight groom room. Cheerfully welcome three hundred and twelve passengers with a well-feigned enthusiasm for pre-dawn departures. Try not to let the guy in 14E remind you of the last man you kissed. With 26,000 flight attendants, the odds of running into him are slim.

Push the beverage cart down the aisle and pass out OJs and coffees and decafs.

Make sure to place the napkins face up with the airline’s logo pointed towards the passengers. You have to be careful. A girl was actually sent home from training for blowing this one.

Ask the man in 17H. “Can I get you something to drink this morning, sir?”

“I don’t know if you can, but you may get me a sparkling water with lime,” he says with a scowl.
It’s a short page, but I like that it encompasses so much of what the book is about – the day-in-the-life details of the airline world, the anonymity and loneliness of being on the road, the constant opportunities for fleeting intimacies, some of which prove impossible to forget.
Learn more about the book and author at Tiffany Hawk's website.

My Book, The Movie: Love Me Anyway.

--Marshal Zeringue