Tuesday, May 8, 2018

"My Ex-Life"

Stephen McCauley is the author of The Object of My Affection, True Enough, and Alternatives to Sex. Many of his books have been national bestsellers, and three have been made into feature films. The New York Times Book Review dubbed McCauley “the secret love child of Edith Wharton and Woody Allen”, and he was named a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture. His fiction, reviews, and articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Harper’s, Vogue, and many other publications. He currently serves as Co-Director of Creative Writing at Brandeis University.

McCauley applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, My Ex-Life, and reported the following:
Page 69 in My Ex-Life is the end of a chapter. Thus, it’s really only half a page. But it’s a weirdly good place to drop in. The main characters, Julie and David, were married and divorced in their early 20’s. Since then, they’ve lived on opposite coasts and lost touch. David has come out and Julie has remarried. Thirty years later, when each is at a rough patch in life, they reconnect for the first time.

On page 69, David has flown east from San Francisco on a red-eye flight. He arrives to find Julie’s household more chaotic than she’d let on. Each is worried about how they look to the other after all these years.

Here’s how the page (and the chapter) ends:
…David draped his arm around Julie’s shoulder. He pulled the suitcase behind him as they made their way to the house, and Julie rested her head against him.

“You smell good,” she said.

“It’s the upholstery in the rental car. They spray it with something to make it smell new.”

“If only it were that easy,” Julie said.
Visit Stephen McCauley's website.

Writers Read: Stephen McCauley.

--Marshal Zeringue