Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Jennifer Longo

Jennifer Longo was a ballerina from ages eight to eighteen, until she eventually (reluctantly) admitted her talent for writing exceeded her talent for dance. The author of Six Feet Over It, she holds an MFA in Writing for Theater from Humboldt State University, where her obsessive love of Antarctica produced her thesis play about Antarctica’s Age of Exploration.

Longo's new novel is Up to This Pointe.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
The Only Child by Guojing

China's 'One Child' policy has ended, and now a generation of only children has grown up. This gorgeous book tells a story in black and white images of one Only Child, left home alone one day, who ventures out into the wintery world to find her grandmother's house. She falls into peril and is rescued by a stag who takes her on a magical journey. It is a deeply emotional exploration of loneliness, bravery, imagination and love, based on the author's experience growing up with no siblings. This book is gorgeous, but tape a pack of tissues to the bow when you wrap it. The reader will need them.

The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

I love memoir, and this book is written by the woman credited with starting the modern revived popularity of the form. Karr is the author of the intense memoirs The Liar's Club, Cherry, and Lit. This book describes her own memoir teaching methods (She's a Literature professor at Syracuse University) and those of her students (such as Cheryl Strayed and George Saunders) who have influenced her own writing. She presents techniques for mining memory and details for creating non-fiction narrative in a way that feels like an intimate conversation. It sparked my own memories and made me want to tell stories in a truer, more vivid and honest way. Each chapter is short, smart, and funny, and the end result is a book that reads like a fiction novel told from the point of view of a friend you're having drinks with in a quiet corner at a crowded party. I absolutely loved it.
Visit Jennifer Longo's website.

The Page 69 Test: Six Feet Over It.

My Book, The Movie: Six Feet Over It.

The Page 69 Test: Up to This Pointe.

--Marshal Zeringue