Tuesday, February 07, 2017

What is Kayla Rae Whitaker reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Kayla Rae Whitaker, author of The Animators.

Her entry begins:
One night, while eating dinner in a restaurant with my husband, I saw a guy come in with a copy of my favorite novel from the past year, The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan, which explores class and race in Kentucky horse country. I wanted to stop and ask the guy how he was liking it, but I chickened out. Which I regret. I would have loved to have heard what he thought. It’s nice to connect with strangers over books.

I just finished Someone Please Have Sex with Me by Gina Wynbrandt and loved it. I was scratching around for a new graphic novel and one of the book’s blurbs was provided by one of the producers of Bojack Horseman, a show I adore, and that drew me in to this collection of comics. The writing is fantastic, the visuals are incredible – so many weird renderings of Justin Bieber’s face. There, too, was...[read on]
About The Animators, from the publisher:
She was the first person to see me as I had always wanted to be seen. It was enough to indebt me to her forever.

In the male-dominated field of animation, Mel Vaught and Sharon Kisses are a dynamic duo, the friction of their differences driving them: Sharon, quietly ambitious but self-doubting; Mel, brash and unapologetic, always the life of the party. Best friends and artistic partners since the first week of college, where they bonded over their working-class roots and obvious talent, they spent their twenties ensconced in a gritty Brooklyn studio. Working, drinking, laughing. Drawing: Mel, to understand her tumultuous past, and Sharon, to lose herself altogether.

Now, after a decade of striving, the two are finally celebrating the release of their first full-length feature, which transforms Mel’s difficult childhood into a provocative and visually daring work of art. The toast of the indie film scene, they stand at the cusp of making it big. But with their success come doubt and destruction, cracks in their relationship threatening the delicate balance of their partnership. Sharon begins to feel expendable, suspecting that the ever-more raucous Mel is the real artist. During a trip to Sharon’s home state of Kentucky, the only other partner she has ever truly known—her troubled, charismatic childhood best friend, Teddy—reenters her life, and long-buried resentments rise to the surface, hastening a reckoning no one sees coming.

A funny, heartbreaking novel of friendship, art, and trauma, The Animators is about the secrets we keep and the burdens we shed on the road to adulthood.
Visit Kayla Rae Whitaker's website.

Writers Read: Kayla Rae Whitaker.

--Marshal Zeringue