The two novellas in Could You Be With Her Now are like water and vinegar. One (“I Can Make It to California Before It’s Time for Dinner”) is the first-person point of view of a mentally challenged 14-year-old boy who accidentally kills someone. The other (“May-September”) is about a romance between a young woman and a much older widow. But, like all stories, they share common elements, like love and loss, risk and regret, and they germinated in somewhat-similar ways. Of course, I realize now I’ve finished writing this note, that it would have been easier to talk about my forthcoming novel, The Tide King (Black Lawrence Press, May 2013), which is filled with all sorts of stuff I knew nothing about before I wrote it (World War II, wild herbs, partition-era Poland, country music, and smoke jumpers). But I think the emotional landscape that the writer winds up mining — in imagery, half-remembered dreams and daydreams, the unexplainable collision of plot with the emotional beat of the narrative — is equally important, albeit not always as eloquent. In those gauzy spaces, the two novellas in this collection were formed.
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