Saturday, May 22, 2010

Emily St. John Mandel

Emily St. John Mandel was born on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. She studied dance at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and lived briefly in Montreal before relocating to New York.

Her first novel, Last Night in Montreal, was recently released in paperback. Last Night in Montreal was a June 2009 Indie Next pick and is a finalist for ForeWord Magazine's 2009 Book of the Year. Her second novel, The Singer's Gun, is #1 on the Indie Next List for May 2010.

Earlier this month I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
I'm presently reading Something Red, by Jennifer Gilmore. I picked it up partly because it looked really interesting, and partly because Jennifer and I follow one another on Twitter and Facebook. There's a certain obligation when someone you know writes a book—I know a lot of authors at this point, which is frankly kind of an expensive proposition—but as it happens, I love this book so far and I'm glad that I bought it. I'm not very far in, because I got through the first couple of chapters and then I forgot it when I went on tour, but I'm looking forward to picking it up again when I get back to New York tomorrow.

Other recent books—I read Joanna Smith Rakoff's A Fortunate Age recently (for much the same reason as I bought Jennifer's book; we were on the same panel at a book festival in Albany last month and traveled back to New York on the same train, and how could I not read her book after that?), and I can't get the last scene out of my head.

A few weeks back I was writing an essay for The Millions about digressions in novels, and thought I'd cite Milan Kundera's Immortality as an example of a work that's filled with digressions that somehow don't break the spell of the book; I opened it with the intent of thumbing through and finding a good example of a digression that works, but ended up getting sucked in and reading half the novel.
Learn more about the author and her work at Emily St. John Mandel's website.

The Page 69 Test: Last Night in Montreal.

--Marshal Zeringue