Wednesday, March 28, 2018

"Laura & Emma"

Kate Greathead is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Vanity Fair, and on NPR’s Moth Radio Hour. She was a subject in the American version of the British Up documentary series. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, the writer Teddy Wayne.

Greathead applied the Page 69 Test to Laura & Emma, her first novel, and reported the following:
On page 69, Laura, a single mother, is looking for an apartment for her and her toddler daughter. Like many New Yorkers, she discovers that her wish list (fireplace, sunlight, proximity to Central Park) doesn’t correspond with her budget, and she must settle for an apartment that falls outside the border of her desired location. Set in pre-Giuliani 1980s New York, 96th Street east of Lexington—“Harlem,” she calls it; “Across the street from Harlem,” her broker corrects her—is not a place Laura, who grew up in an Upper Eastside brownstone, ever imagined herself living.

The page is emblematic of the book in that it captures Laura’s sense of entitlement, a result of the privileged upbringing she is simultaneously ashamed of but shamelessly benefits from. It is one of many moments in the book that I imagine will make readers roll their eyes at Laura. As a character, we see things about her that she is unable or unwilling to acknowledge about herself.
Visit Kate Greathead's website.

--Marshal Zeringue