Friday, July 19, 2013

Andrea Lochen

Andrea Lochen earned her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan. While there, she won a Hopwood Novel Award for a draft of The Repeat Year, her first novel. She currently lives in suburban Milwaukee with her husband and teaches Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Lochen's reply:
Ah, summer break! As a college professor who is busy reading and grading student essays and stories nine months out of the year, I like to indulge in fun, decadent page-turners the other three months.

Sometimes I just want a book that makes me feel like I’m on a white-sand beach drinking strawberry daiquiris, and Sophie Kinsella’s novels definitely accomplish that. Her most recent novel Wedding Night is a frolic through the Greek Isles (love!) and the kind of book that makes you snort aloud to yourself, prompting others around you to question your sanity. After a bad breakup, flighty younger sister Lottie does some serious rebounding, and her older sister Fliss is determined to break up the ill-advised marriage and protect Lottie from heartbreak.

Other times, I want a darker suspense novel, like Kimberly McCreight’s Reconstructing Amelia, which chronicles a mother’s attempt to untangle the mysterious web of circumstances surrounding the supposed suicide of her fifteen-year-old daughter. The novel is told through the alternating perspectives of mother and daughter (in the past and present) and also uses Facebook posts, text messages, and the school gossip newsletter to piece together what really happened to Amelia. I loved the ominous, fast-paced nature of this one.

Lastly I always enjoy magical realism and books with fantastic premises and odd twists like David Levithan’s Every Day or Amy Shearn’s The Mermaid of Brooklyn. Next on my list is Andrew Sean Greer’s new one, The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, which tells the story of a woman living in the 1980s and the alternate lives she would have had had she been born in different time periods (the 1910s and 1940s). Since I’m a writer who uses a magical, time-bending premise as well, I’m really looking forward to reading this one!
Visit Andrea Lochen's website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue