A novel about talent, friendship, love, and the ravages that reality bears upon youthful idealism, Meg Wolitzer's, "The Interestings," is an introspective and ambitious novel featuring characters and relationships as complex, intricate, frustrating, and wonderful as life itself. Set initially at an art camp in the mid seventies, the novel follows six teenagers who meet at the art camp and become close friends, sharing in common vast talent and romantic idealism about the world. Each has a special artistic talent, ranging from music to visual arts to drama, and each believes in the power of their own ability to make the world a better place.
However the scope of the novel is not just a fleeting youthful moment at a summer camp, but a philosophical inquiry into how youthful relationships and ideals change upon exposure to the cold facts of the adult world. Critic Adam Langer of The Washington Post writes, "Fine novels that chart the long-term progress of friendships are all too rare... and Wolitzer is at her best when she shows how these relationships can be tested over time." And Wolitzer provides a compelling narrative on the way the relationships between the characters are changed, and how their individual success, or lack thereof, alters and sometimes compromises their original artistic vision. Wolitzer provides a fascinating juxtaposition between art and life over the course of the novel, and circumspectly examines complex characters and their interactions as they capriciously float in and out of each other's lives.
Born on Long Island in 1959, Meg Wolitzer has written a number of full length fiction novels for adults as well as young adults. She attended Brown University and Smith College, and has seen one of her novels, Surrender, Dorothy, made into a full length film.
From New York
Times bestselling author
Meg Wolitzer comes a new novel that the New
York Times Book Review says
is “among the ranks of books like Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom and Jeffrey Eugenides The Marriage Plot.”
The summer that Nixon resigns, six
teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the
bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters
from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and
degrees of satisfaction diverge.
The kind of
creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel
someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood,
what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic
actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and
lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and
becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules’ now-married best friends become
shockingly successful—true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth
and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure
and even prosper but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what
their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken.
Wide in scope,
ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a
changing New York City, The Interestings explores
the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and
power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a
friendship and a life.
Download and start listening now!