Nina Collins interviews Dana Spiotta about her new book Wayward.
Dana Spiotta is the author of five novels: Wayward (forthcoming in 2021), Innocents and Others (2016), winner of the St. Francis College Literary Prize and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Stone Arabia (2011), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Eat the Document (2006), which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the winner of the American Academy's Rosenthal Foundation Award; and Lightning Field(2001), a New York Times Notable Book. Other awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, the Rome Prize in Literature, the Premio Pivano, a Creative Capital Award, and the John Updike Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
On the heels of the election of 2016, Samantha Raymond's life begins to come apart: her mother is ill, her teenage daughter is increasingly remote, and at fifty-two she finds herself staring into the Mids--that hour of supreme wakefulness between three and four in the morning in which women of a certain age suddenly find themselves contemplating motherhood, mortality, and, in this case, the state of our unraveling nation.When she falls in love with a beautiful, decrepit house in a hardscrabble neighborhood in Syracuse, she buys it on a whim and flees her suburban life--and her family--as she grapples with how to be a wife, a mother, and a daughter, in a country that is coming apart at the seams.Dana Spiotta's Wayward is a stunning novel about aging, about the female body, and about female difficulty--female complexity--in the age of Trump. Probing and provocative, brainy and sensual, it is a testament to our weird, off-kilter America, to reforms and resistance and utopian wishes, and to the beauty of ruins. Tremendous new work from one of the most gifted writers of her generation.
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