Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"What Has Become of You"

Jan Elizabeth Watson was raised in Maine, where she currently lives, writes, and teaches and which also serves as the backdrop for her novels Asta in the Wings (Tin House Books) and What Has Become of You (Dutton). Her third novel-in-progress is set partly in Maine and partly in Ireland.

Watson applied the Page 69 Test to the paperback edition of What Has Become of You, and reported the following:
From page 69:
Later that day, it took my parents some convincing that it would be okay for me to watch movies with a bunch of guys I’d never met, in the home of a boy I barely knew. “We don’t even know this boy,” my mother said, turning on her prim persona in a flash. “I’d feel better if we met him first.”

“Why would you have to meet him? It isn’t a date. My God, he repulses me.”

“Well, that sounds like a hell of a basis for a friendship. I guess you can go if Les is willing to drive you.”
The above exchange comes from the journal entry of fifteen-year-old Jensen Willard, a sardonic young woman whose journals offer occasional moments of grim levity. This is one of those moments. Actually, this is a pretty good representation of the kind of conversations I had with my own parents when I was fifteen. The overall mood of What Has Become of You is darker than this excerpt would suggest, but I so enjoyed writing in Jensen’s voice so much that I am working with another young, first-person narration for my third novel.
Learn more about the book and author at Jan Elizabeth Watson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue