Friday, August 19, 2011

Linda Urbach

Linda Urbach Howard is a published author and screenwriter. Her third novel, Madame Bovary’s Daughter, was published by Random House last month under the name of Linda Urbach.

She is currently working on a new novel, Sarah’s Hair, the story of Sarah Bernhardt’s hairdresser.

Recently I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
I like reading anything tragic or dark. You would think that this would make me a reader of non-fiction and current events. But, no, I prefer fiction. I like reading about dysfunctional families, relationships that don’t work, diseases that can’t be cured, murderers that almost get away with it. I find that these kind of subjects cheer me up enormously.

That being said, I loved Freedom. Jonthan Franzen is the dean of dysfunction. Not only is he a brilliant wordsmith but he is clearly a man with a mission. It took him 10 years to write this book. In an interview with Charlie Rose he had this to say about his novel writing:

"I'm about a year of frustration and confusion into it... Y'know, I'm kind of down at the bottom of the submerged ice berg peering up for the surface of the water... I don't have doubt about my ability to write a good book, but I have lots of doubt about what it's going to look like."

That not knowing to me is a real act of courage. It’s one that anyone undertaking the writing of a novel has to possess. And when I look at the length (not to mention) depth of Franzen’s work, the amount of time it took him to write it, the intricacies of the relationships that he has to develop, I am really amazed. Just living with his characters had require great acceptance and compassion. You have to love your characters, warts and all.
Visit Linda Urbach's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue