|Photograph by Nina Subin|
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I like how the word has both an old-fashioned tenor, as in "feminine virtue" and, simultaneously, a contemporary flavor in terms of "virtue-signaling". (It's interesting to me that "virtue" is a term rarely used sincerely any more.) In some sense, I think this is an old-fashioned novel. The setting may be contemporary, the politics and attitudes are of this moment, but formally, it's just pretty traditional. The book is about trying to be good, and the near-impossibility of living an uncompromised life in a compromised world, so I hope the title does something to indicate that, and to convey both earnestness and irony.
How surprised would your teenage reader self be by your new novel?
Writers Read: Hermione Hoby (January 2018).
The Page 69 Test: Virtue.
Q&A with Hermione Hoby.