Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons (Landvik)

Author Bio
Rasied—Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Education—attended University of Minnesota
Currently—lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lorna Landvik is the bestselling author of Patty Jane’s House of Curl, Your Oasis on Flame Lake, The Tall Pine Polka, Welcome to the Great Mysterious, Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, Oh My Stars, and The View from Mount Joy.

Married and the mother of two daughters, she is also an actor, playwright, and dog park attendee with the handsome Julio. Lorna Landvik wishes everyone holiday greetings of peace, love, joy, and a renewed commitment to fun. (From the publisher.)

From a 2003 interview with Barnes and Nobel:

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

Sometimes, like Flannery, I find inspiration everywhere—from a billboard, a snatch of music, a scent. Other times, I have no idea where it comes from: all of a sudden, a character appears unbidden in my head, with the urgent desire that I write about her or him.

Q: How did a book club end up at the center of the novel?

After the publication of my first novel, I got invited to speak at a book club and since then I've been to dozens and dozens. What always impresses me is the fun and friendship of these groups, some of which have been together for decades, and that's why I decided to write about one.

Q: The story of the social movements of the l960s and early l970s is often told from the vantage point of the radicalized youth of the period. Why did you decide to examine the impact of this upheaval from the vantage point of Freesia Court, an upper-middle-class neighborhood of young families?

Whatever our age or place in society is, we're still affected by the times we live in. While the women in the book aren't living in Haight Ashbury or getting arrested at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, they still feel deeply about what is going on. Slip, of course, chooses to act on her convictions, giving weight to my conviction that, ultimately, mothers are the most radical faction of all.

Q: When a young man mistakes the Angry Housewives for sisters, Audrey is offended. She feels he just thinks "every woman over the age of fifty looks alike." Is this the only explanation for his gaffe?

I think he was responding to their familiarity and closeness with one another and he assumed they were related because of it.

Q: Audrey is described as someone who "refused to ask permission for the privilege of being herself." Do you think this description applies to all the Angry Housewives by the end of your novel? 

I never thought of it, but yes, I'd say so. Getting older is so culturally and cosmetically incorrect, but I think the older women get, the more their true selves emerge.

Q: Which aspect of writing this novel gave you the biggest headache?

I knew different characters wanted to tell their stories in different ways (some speak in the first person, others in the third); what helped corral all of this was when I figured out each chapter heading—the book they had chosen for discussion and why.

Q: Which books would make your greatest-hits list?

A short list would include To Kill a Mockingbird, Handling Sin (both of which are selections in the book), Huckleberry Finn, Great Expectations, and maybe a book I have great affection for, the Dick and Jane books, because they were the books that taught me how to read.

Q: What is your average workday like?

I like to work every day, but that doesn't mean I do. During the school year, I usually take a walk in the morning, come home, make a latte, and read the papers, and then I try to settle down and work. But I don't stick to a regular schedule—if I have something really important going on in the day (a lunch date, a movie), I'll work later in the afternoon or at night. My family's very accommodating and I've also learned to write among them, amid distraction.

Q: What do you do when the words won't come? 

I get up, find the chocolate, and if that doesn't help, I might read and see if someone else's ability to tell a story can help fire up mine. (Interview from Barnes & Noble.)

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