No, I haven’t read her books. No, I haven’t seen the movie. But still, I love this writer. A couple of days ago I heard her interviewed on the Diane Rehm Show, , and in the way I am wont to do, I developed an instant writerly crush. I went out and bought Time Traveller’s Wife yesterday just to prove my loyalty. (My student Mike will be so happy; this is his favorite book.)
You should definitely listen to the full interview yourself, but here are a few things she talked about that struck me:
1. A writer has to make time to write. Of course, this is not new news to me, and shouldn’t be for anyone, but still, it is apparently a lesson I need to hear every day.
2. Her visual art and her written art speak to each other. I didn’t even know she is a visual artist, so I found this idea fascinating. I can’t paint, but I do love paintings (doesn’t that sound hokey?), and Niffenegger’s work is great – playful and morbid.
2. The ghost in her new book Her Fearful Symmetry (whose title comes, incidentally, from a Blake’s “The Tyger”) has as much complexity as any other character. That’s cool.
3. Some of the characters in her books were sparked into life by people she knows.
4. She is working on a new book that she thinks will be in or near Chicago. (See how I’m already planning to read the third one when I haven’t read the first two). She has not seen the movie version of Time Traveller’s Wife, but she did not sell the movie rights to Her Fearful Symmetry, at least not yet.
5. Her voice sounds just like my friend Megan’s. Soft, lush, slightly Anglicized but not fake. Beautiful.
Perhaps most importantly, I got a real desire to read from listening to this interview. For me, the desire to read usually precipitates the desire to write, so here’s to hoping.
If you’ve read her books, please post a comment to let me know what you thought (and if you can do so without spoiling the books for me, that would be great). Did you love them? Hate them? Want to read more of them? What did you love or hate? What characters were your favorites? Do share, please.
Oh, and here’s a brief story about Niffenegger from All Things Considered.
– “Prudence” (I think is the title) by Audrey Niffenegger