Monday, March 25, 2013

Mary Beth Keane

Mary Beth Keane is the author of The Walking People (2009) and the newly released novel, Fever, about the life of Typhoid Mary. She attended Barnard College and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA in Fiction. In 2011, she was named one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 under 35.

Recently I asked Keane about what she was reading. Her reply:
I am making an effort to read more non-fiction that has nothing to do with the research I’m doing for my own work. So, I just finished Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers, and it lived up to every glowing review I’ve read about it. I can’t begin imagine what it must have taken for her to have written this incredible book – to gain the trust of the community, to capture every personality so vividly.

As research for my third novel I’ve just begun Remembering Satan by Lawrence Wright. My third novel has nothing to do with Satan, sex abuse, or recovered memory – but it’s providing a glimpse into the psychology of group influence, panic in a community, the irrational and destructive ways even good, rational people behave from time to time.

For fiction, I’ve just finished an advance copy of Love All by Callie Wright, due out in June of this year. It’s a debut novel about a family in Cooperstown, New York that is beginning to unravel, told in alternating points of view by each member of the family. The prose is stunning and the story is so moving and felt so true that I could not put it down until I finished it. As my children were waiting for their breakfast one morning, I realized I was standing by the toaster waiting for their waffles to pop just so I could read one more page.
Visit Mary Beth Keane's website.

The Page 69 Test: Fever.

--Marshal Zeringue