Monday, September 5, 2016

"The Memory of Things"

Gae Polisner is the award-winning author of The Summer of Letting Go and The Pull of Gravity. A family law attorney and mediator by trade, but a writer by calling, she lives on Long Island and swims in the open waters of the Long Island Sound.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Memory of Things, and reported the following:
The Memory of Things unfolds the morning of September 11, 2001, as 17-year-old Kyle Donohue, fleeing to safety over the Brooklyn Bridge, finds a girl crouched in fear, covered in smoke and ash, and wearing a pair of costume wings. He brings her home to safety only to discover she has no idea who she is or why she was there.

From page 69:
“And, no, my uncle wasn’t drinking. Everyone asks that.” I always add that last part because it’s the first thing people assume when they hear what happened. “He nearly died, broke his spine... “ I look at Uncle Matt and stop. He doesn’t need to hear the ugly replay. The spinal cord injury. The swelling on his brain. The surgeries to try to repair things. Besides, she can probably figure it out by the mumbling and drooling and itty-bitty pasta pieces. By his ragdoll neck and dead-fish right hand. Which is the one that works at all.

She looks up, first at me, then over at Uncle Matt, who rolls his head up and says, “Ky-uh... where... you... dah?”

“I know,” I say, trying not to break down and cry. “It’s getting late. I wish we’d hear from him.”
Aw, I truly love that Uncle Matt is featured on p. 69, this being the scene where the girl first meets him, as Kyle tries deal with the stress of the disaster around him and not knowing if his first-responder father is going to make it home.

Uncle Matt, an injured lieutenant and former memory expert now relegated to a wheelchair, is an early reader favorite so far. I think my adoration for my own uncle, Richard Kahn, informed my writing of the character, and shines through all the scenes with him.
Visit Gae Polisner's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Summer of Letting Go.

--Marshal Zeringue