Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Pg. 99: Michelle Wildgen’s "You’re Not You"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Michelle Wildgen’s You’re Not You.

About the book, from the author's website:
College student Bec is self-conscious of her aimless life; she has fallen into an affair with a married professor and a major she has no interest in. In a half-hearted effort to redeem herself, she answers an ad for a caregiver and finds herself employed by Kate, a wealthy, happily married woman with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Their relationship develops into a surprising intimacy, and as she observes the implacable changes in Kate her own life takes shape in ways she didn't anticipate. Vibrant and sensuous, this is a fiercely unsentimental yet poignant novel.
Among the praise for You’re Not You:

“Wildgen writes with a fresh, appealing honesty and has done a marvelous job of capturing that youthful moment in our lives when we are like sponges ready to soak up someone else’s character, taste and charm, borrowed elements from which we hope to concoct an authentic, individual self.”
—Francine Prose, People Magazine, Critic’s Choice, 4 stars

“...You’re Not You, by the astonishingly gifted debut novelist Michelle Wildgen, is a complex and satisfying dish: a story of intimate strangers and their impact on each other’s lives. What makes this novel so enticing is the smartly self-mocking young narrator, Bec, and the lovely, unlucky Kate.”
—Cathleen Medwick, O Magazine

“Wildgen eschews the cliché, and instead provides us with a psychologically acute and complex tale of a young woman who begins to learns, under emotionally difficult circumstances, who she is and what she wants to be. This is one of those first novels that makes you want to reach out to the writer and say, hurry up and write: I want to read your second novel.”
—Nancy Pearl, Seattle NPR

Read an excerpt from You're Not You, and learn more about the author and her writing at Michelle Wildgen’s website.

Wildgen is senior editor of Tin House Magazine, an editor with Tin House Books, and the editor of the anthology Food & Booze: A Tin House Literary Feast. Her fiction, personal essays, and food writing have also appeared in The New York Times, and in anthologies such as Best New American Voices 2004, Best Food Writing 2004, Death by Pad Thai and Other Unforgettable Meals, and journals including StoryQuarterly, TriQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, Small Spiral Notebook, Gulf Coast, Salt Hill and elsewhere.

The Page 99 Test: You’re Not You.

--Marshal Zeringue