Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"What To Do About The Solomons"

Bethany Ball was born in Detroit and has lived in Santa Fe, New Jersey, Miami, and Israel. She now lives in New York with her family.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, What To Do About The Solomons, and reported the following:
Carolyn Solomon is the American wife of kibbutznik commando Marc Solomon. On page 69 of What To Do About The Solomons, she is flirting with her boss, an ad director, in their agency in Los Angeles. She’s showing him her art and she’s telling him she feels too old to come out as a debut artist. She’s hoping he will tell her that she’s not in fact too old and she’s also hoping he will make a pass at her. I think for me this belies my own anxiety about having this dream since very young—of publishing a novel—and of wondering when or if that will ever happen. All of us with artistic aspirations really hope we will be prodigies.

“Carolyn thought then about her coworkers, young kids newly minted from CalArts and UCLA. They lived night and day in the office and had time for their own art ambitions too. She thought about their Silver Lake houses, their rooms with no furniture and keg parties. Their downtown LA art gallery opening curated by kids born the years she graduated from high school. I’m too old for this, Carolyn said.” A moment later she tells the art director: “Well, I’m much too old for a debut, then, don’t you think? Too old to be an ingĂ©nue.”

The page does not quite represent the book as a whole because it features the only character who is not Israeli. But it does sum up at least the author’s anxieties about aging debuts and cultural obsolescence.
Visit Bethany Ball's website.

--Marshal Zeringue