Thursday, June 27, 2019

"Last Day"

Domenica Ruta is a fiction writer and memoirist from Massachusetts. A scholarship kid at Phillips Academy Andover and Oberlin College, she has worked as a videographer and editor, a book store clerk, a waitress, a bartender, an English-as-a-Foreign-Language teacher, a nanny, a nursing home caregiver, a domestic violence hotline advocate and a house cleaner. She received her MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas, Austin.

Her first book, the memoir With or Without You, was a New York Times Bestseller and named by Entertainment Weekly as one of the top three nonfiction books of the year 2013. The Boston Globe, Macleans, NPR, Slate, Elle, Bust, and USA Today all loved it.

Ruta applied the Page 69 Test to Last Day, her first novel, and reported the following:
Page 69 is a scene on the International Space Station starring Bear, the all-American astronaut. He's in the cupola, a module with all these gorgeous windows that allow astronauts to see the earth in her gorgeous entirety, "where he liked to take what he'd come to think of as a nice cool drink of Earth." He's feeling lonesome for Earth and the simple pleasures we take for granted, such as naturally moving water. I wouldn't say this page is a perfect representative of the whole book, but it does touch on something central - we are always reaching forward and backward at the same time: into the past and into the future; longing for home, in a spiritual sense, even as we push ourselves to leave home and explore the bigger world. It's about how precious our world is, how precarious, how intimate we are with it and how foreign it can feel.
Visit Domenica Ruta's website.

--Marshal Zeringue