Monday, April 13, 2020

"Jack Kerouac Is Dead to Me"

Gae Polisner is the award-winning author of In Sight of Stars, The Memory of Things, The Summer of Letting Go, The Pull of Gravity, and Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me.

She lives on Long Island with her husband, two sons, and a suspiciously-fictional looking dog. When Polisner isn't writing, you can find her in a pool or the open waters off Long Island. She's still hoping that one day her wetsuit will turn her into a superhero.

Polisner applied the Page 69 Test to Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me and reported the following:
Here’s a brief moment from page 69:

As if it were a dream rather than a memory, I forget about it for a few days -- the fight, her words, the money, all of it. Or maybe I don’t forget so much as block it, once again, from my mind. After all, I may be a lot of crappy things lately, but I want to believe that thief isn’t one of them.

At least I hope not.

Then Max comes over again, and this time my mother sends me over the edge.
I actually think this moment represents the book well in a few ways. First, it’s the start of a time stamped section that carries the main story forward (these unfold from April - June of JL’s Tenth Grade) while other sections flit back in time to formative moments in JL’s life from the time she was a little girl. Second, JL is tired of being harshly and wrongly judged by her best friend Aubrey and Aubrey’s new friends, and this is a moment where she begins to decide that maybe she’d rather live up to the criticism than keep trying to prove the good person she is. Finally, it’s also the moment where she decides she might actually flee -- that she’d rather escape everything than try to face what’s unfolding.

What she learns in the end is that, sometimes, that’s impossible to do. The only way through it is through it.
Visit Gae Polisner's website.

--Marshal Zeringue