Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Q&A with Valerie Martin

From my Q&A with Valerie Martin, author of Mrs. Gulliver: A Novel:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

The title of my novel Mrs. Gulliver is the narrator’s name. She is the madam of a legal brothel on the fictional island of Verona, somewhere in this world. This title wasn’t my first choice, which was Carità, the name of the young, beautiful, formerly wealthy but now destitute blind girl who arrives with her sister at Lila Gulliver’s door looking for work.

After much back and forth it was decided that Americans dislike titles with accents in them. Also, as the book progressed, it became clear that in telling the story of her most interesting employee, Lila Gulliver was telling as much or more about herself. Carità is something of a mystery to Lila, who doesn’t expect a blind girl to be both willful and astute. At their first interview, when Carità says something very rude about her own limited options, and her sister scolds her, she responds, “I don’t think Mrs. Gulliver is shocked.” Nor is she. Mrs. Gulliver is...[read on]
Visit Valerie Martin's website.

The Page 69 Test: Mrs. Gulliver.

My Book, The Movie: Mrs. Gulliver.

Q&A with Valerie Martin.

--Marshal Zeringue