Tuesday, October 31, 2023

"City People"

Elizabeth Topp’s debut novel, Perfectly Impossible, was a number one Amazon bestseller in literary fiction. Topp penned her first short story as a second grader at the Dalton School and continued studying creative writing at Harvard College and Columbia’s School of the Arts, where she earned a master of fine arts in nonfiction writing. Topp coauthored her first book, Vaginas: An Owner’s Manual, with her gynecologist mother while she worked as a private assistant, a job she still holds. Topp lives in the same Manhattan apartment where she grew up with her partner, Matthew; daughter, Anna; and their cat, Stripes.

Topp applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, City People, and reported the following:
Page 69 of my book is our introduction to arguably the most sane, ‘likeable’ character out of the six Moms: Chandice. We learn on this page that Chandice is fighting cancer, which is unlike the other struggles in her life because there is nothing she personally can really do to win this battle. As a Black, female, corporate lawyer in America, Chandice has always had to work just a little bit harder to combat negative stereotypes, but cancer is not something you can work harder against. In this way, page 69 is a good introduction to City People, whose main themes are control, identity and equity. This group of women wish desperately to orchestrate the outcomes of their children’s lives through educational and social advancement, which functions as a scrim to conceal the way that they—and most of us—seek to choreograph our own lives. None of them is totally successful in this endeavor, but Chandice’s plight is the one that readers and myself were most sympathetic towards. They all behave and feel as if their lives are on the line, but for Chandice this rings the most true.
Visit Elizabeth Topp's website.

--Marshal Zeringue