Interview with Patricia Park, author of RE JANE, and a book giveaway!

Cover_RE Jane pbI first heard Patricia Park read from RE JANE at her graduation reading from the Novel Incubator program, and immediately fell in love. RE JANE: A NOVEL is a modern-day interpretation of JANE EYRE set in New York and Seoul. It was named Editors’ Choice by the New York Times Book Review.

If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of the newly designed paperback, or RETWEET/SHARE this post to enter to win one! (US only; details below.) Now here’s Patricia in her own words:

Talk about one book that made an impact on you.

I first read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë when I was twelve. Jane, by her own admission, was “poor, obscure, plain, and little.” She was such a departure from the beautiful Disney heroines I was weaned on, and yet she held her own. It sent a very empowering message to me as a preteen girl…so much so that later on I decided to pen a novel deeply inspired by Jane Eyre, but set in present day.

When you were a teenager, what did you think you’d be when you grew up?

I’ll tell you what I wanted to be as a child—a Catholic nun slash novelist. But then I envisioned having to go to weekly confession and repent for everything I just wrote about. So eventually I gave up the former and went with the latter.

Who is one of your favorite (fictional or non-fictional) characters?

Jane has a friend named Eunice Oh who graduated from MIT and works for Google. Eunice is one of those socially awkward techie types that deliberately disengages by speaking in a kind of code. She reverses her syntax—like Yoda—and makes continual references to Star Wars or Star Trek, Tolkien or Philip K. Dick. I went to a math and science high school, so Eunice types abounded, and it took a certain amount of decoding to understand what the heck they were talking about.

What’s your secret or not-so-secret superpower?

I’ve certainly mastered the art of kvetching, as anyone in my inner circle will tell you.

Have you ever tried writing in a different genre? How did that turn out?

I kept an “Outtakes” file for Re Jane, and it is, without exaggeration, 10x longer than the finished manuscript. One afternoon a few years into the writing, I grew so frustrated with generating so much writerly waste that I decided right then and there to pen a terrible historical romance novel under a pseudonym whose whole point was to peddle—nay, celebrate–its clichés. Think: “almond-shaped eyes,” “inky black strands of silk,” “jade-smooth skin.” It was going to be a Chosun Dynasty-era court romance about courtesans, and I wasn’t allowed to delete a single word or sentence during the writing. Of course that manuscript has never seen the light of day. (Yet.)

GIVEAWAY: RETWEET on Twitter, and/or SHARE on Facebook by noon (EST) April 29th to win a copy of RE JANE, A NOVEL (US only). We’ll select and contact the winner on Friday. Good luck!

PPark- Headshot- GuardianPatricia Park is the author of the acclaimed debut novel Re Jane (Penguin). A former Fulbright scholar, she has written for the New York Times, Guardian, Salon, and others. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and received her MFA from Boston University. A Queens native, she lives in Brooklyn.

For more information about Patricia, check out her website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Louise Miller

Louise Miller is the author of THE CITY BAKER'S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING (Pamela Dorman Books/Viking/August 9, 2016), the story of a commitment-phobic pastry chef who discovers the meaning of belonging while competing in the cut-throat world of Vermont county fair baking contests. Find out more at louisemillerauthor.tumblr.com.

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