Thursday, April 11, 2019

"Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes)"

Lorna Landvik's novels include the bestselling Patty Jane’s House of Curl, Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, Oh My Stars, Best to Laugh, and Once in a Blue Moon Lodge. She has performed stand-up and improvisational comedy around the country and is a public speaker, playwright, and actor most recently in the one-woman, all-improvised show Party in the Rec Room. She lives in Minneapolis.

Landvik applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes), and reported the following:
Susan McGrath sweaty and frustrated, ruminating on her dissolving marriage. At her newspaper office, she’s an in-charge decision maker but here, in the locker room after a yoga class, it’s a different story. Unlike the agile Olivia Shelby whose Downward Dog is a thing of beauty, Susan is stiff and clumsy on the yoga mat and changing into street clothes, comparisons between her and Olivia taunt her: Why are her legs a fish-belly white while Olivia’s are tanned and toned? But in the bigger picture, the comparisons hurt more: why does Olivia have an intact marriage and a son who seems not to be repulsed by her?

Is this page representative of the book? I suppose it is in that I’ve tried to bring a moment — a self-conscious, questioning moment — alive in a character’s life. If I’d landed on a page featuring another character, my hope would be that in that page, a reader would get a sense of her or him, as well as my tone, my sense of humor.

Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes) was a different sort of novel for me to write in that newspaper columns spanning fifty years are interspersed in the story of their writer, Haze Evans, who suffers a massive stroke at the book’s beginning. While we get to know her through these columns, in Part Two, the book shifts into the past — Haze’s past — and the reader gets to know her as a young woman. Susan and Sam are the other main characters and telling the stories of these three different generations was fun and challenging in the way writing fiction always is.
Visit Lorna Landvik's website.

My Book, The Movie: Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes).

Writers Read: Lorna Landvik.

--Marshal Zeringue