Monday, June 2, 2014

Still Life With Bread Crumbs

Still Life with Bread Crumbs begins with an imagined gunshot and ends with a new tin roof. Between the two is a wry and knowing portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many women. Her career is now descendent, her bank balance shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere. There she discovers, in a tree stand with a roofer named Jim Bates, that what she sees through a camera lens is not all there is to life.

Quindlen on writing fiction. "In fiction, you’re liberated by invention. I loved being a reporter and a columnist, but I hewed very close to the blessed conventions of our business — that is, that you take the notes and you excavate the facts and you tell exactly what happened. With the novel, it’s not that I know Rebecca Winter. I become Rebecca Winter because to write about characters in that omniscient-narrator way, we have to be able to slip in and out of their skin. Sometimes I felt limited by journalism because, as we all know from hearing about the blind man and the various parts of the elephant, what really happened can often be determined by precisely where you were standing. Fiction offers me an opportunity to take everything that I’ve learned about the human condition through journalism and be all of the blind men at once."

New York Times book review

NPR Interview with Anna Quindlen

Washington Post Interview with Anna Quindlen

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