Sunday, July 22, 2012

What is Monica Wood reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Monica Wood, author of When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine.

Her entry begins:
My local bookstore, Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine, is manned (and womaned) by bibliophiles who delight in foisting their literary passions upon me whenever I come in. Bill Lundgren recommended Pulphead, a book of essays by John Jeremiah Sullivan. “Recommended” is such a weak word for what I mean. Imagine a “recommendation” accompanied by a jar of killer bees with Bill’s fingers s-l-o-w-l-y twisting the cap. I speak metaphorically, of course; killer bees have not yet arrived in Maine, except in the form of John Jeremiah Sullivan’s buzzing prose. I felt stung—in a good way—by his fresh use of language, his goofy sensibilities, and his disarming lack of...[read on]
About When We Were the Kennedys, from the publisher:
1963, Mexico, Maine. The Wood family is much like its close, Catholic, immigrant neighbors, all dependent on a father’s wages from the Oxford Paper Company. Until the sudden death of Dad, when Mum and the four closely connected Wood girls are set adrift. Funny and to-the-bone moving, When We Were the Kennedys is the story of how this family saves itself, at first by depending on Father Bob, Mum’s youngest brother, a charismatic Catholic priest who feels his new responsibilities deeply. And then, as the nation is shocked by the loss of its handsome Catholic president, the televised grace of Jackie Kennedy—she too a Catholic widow with young children—galvanizes Mum to set off on an unprecedented family road trip to Washington, D.C., to do some rescuing of her own. An indelible story of how family and nation, each shocked by the unimaginable, exchange one identity for another.
Learn more about the book and author at Monica Wood's website.

The Page 99 Test: When We Were the Kennedys.

Writers Read: Monica Wood.

--Marshal Zeringue