I thought I might be able to blog daily as pub date approached, but Thursdays are just too long. After an intense shift at Viva House — last Thursday of the month — I had an interview yesterday, the first — and my first chance to think about what I want to say about this book. Another interview today. This is a tough book to discuss because I prefer never to discuss my private life, but ANOTHER THING TO FALL invites a few, perfectly fair inquiries.
It also happened that I heard kinds words, from two different sources, about my ability to write men. Again, this leads to some personal territory, as I credit my SO and a good writer friend with helping me write from the POV of men.
There are three male POV characters in ATTF — actually, four, including the prologue. One is a thirty-something writer, not a nice guy, but awfully fun to write. One member of my male advisory board told me to change this character’s critical assessment of an actor’s ballooning weight, exchanging the word “butt” for “ass.” That’s something I never would have caught. My ear still can’t quite catch it, the distinction between butt (a pretty casual word in its own right) and ass. But that’s why I consult with various people.
After the interview, I went to see MICHAEL CLAYTON. Granted, I can never be subjective about Amy Ryan; I wanted her to win the Oscar because I know her superficially and I think she’s amazing. Plus, she was great in GONE, BABY, GONE. That said, as much as I liked the movie — Jesus, this is a misogynistic country. Try to imagine MICHAEL CLAYTON with a man in Tilda Swinton’s role. It wouldn’t have been as successful. It’s the power-mad woman, willing to go to any lengths to protect her company and (let’s not forget) fuck-up of a boss/predecessor/patriarch, that gives MC its kick. Brothers rediscover their bonds, male friends go to the mat for each other, a son’s love of a book may, inadvertently, save his father’s life. Even your co-worker who’s a stuffed shirt and an asshole is basically a decent guy. But women come in two flavors, both from Nebraska — pure-hearted virgin and ruthless (but nervous nellie) bitch. I love you, Tony Gilroy, and I thought the screenplay was terrific, but SERIOUSLY.