Thursday, June 8, 2017

Stephanie Powell Watts

Stephanie Powell Watts's new novel is No One Is Coming to Save Us. From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: No One Is Coming to Save Us is billed as a retelling of The Great Gatsby. How do you see the relationship between the two, and how did you come up with the idea for your novel?

A: Deborah, thanks so much for spending the time with me. I love The Great Gatsby and I always have. In no way is my book a retelling of that story. The characters are all different and the stories are vastly different. I have joked that except for the characters, setting, race, time period and language, my book is identical to Gatsby!

Where I think my book is calling on Gatsby or in conversation with Gatsby is in the shared themes. My book is about Americans in a difficult economic landscape trying to find their place in terms of class and community position and family.

My characters are just one generation from being very poor. The memory of that poverty lingers in their thinking. Most of the characters are just a generation from segregation in the south. The vestiges of that difficult past are everywhere.

My characters like Jay Gatsby and like Nick are strivers and believers, but for some significant reason feel like they don’t belong even in the world they were born into. I am...[read on]
Visit Stephanie Powell Watts's website.

--Marshal Zeringue