Saturday, June 18, 2022

Q&A with Mary Anna Evans

From my Q&A with Mary Anna Evans, author of The Physicists' Daughter: A Novel:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

The Physicists’ Daughter does a lot of heavy lifting in terms of signaling what this story is about, and it does all the work of characterizing the protagonist. Justine Byrne’s identity was shaped by her physicist parents, and that is a very consciously placed apostrophe. Both of Justine’s parents were physicists, which was an unusual state of affairs in 1944.

From the time Justine was born, they began teaching her to see the world like a physicist, logically and thoughtfully. When they die in a car accident when Justine is only 17, she is prepared to tackle the daunting task of taking care of herself in an era when this was very hard for a woman to do alone. World War II is raging, so she is able to find a good job at a munitions factory doing Rosie-the-Riveter-style work…but it’s clear to someone with Justine’s background that her boss is lying to her about the work she’s doing. It’s also clear to her that someone is trying to sabotage that work.

Nobody expects Justine to have the knowledge and skills that she does, so she is...[read on]
Learn more about the author and her work at Mary Anna Evans' website.

The Page 69 Test: Floodgates.

Writers Read: Mary Anna Evans (October 2010).

The Page 69 Test: Strangers.

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The Page 69 Test: Plunder.

Writers Read: Mary Anna Evans (November 2013).

The Page 69 Test: Rituals.

Q&A with Mary Anna Evans.

--Marshal Zeringue