*This is a transcript of the conversation we had with Caroline Leavitt, author of The TNB Book Club‘s January selection, Pictures of You.  It happened on Sunday, January 30, 2011.

 

 

BRAD LISTI (BL): Alright, everybody. We’re back. Welcome. Really pleased to have Caroline Leavitt here with us this month. Her latest novel, Pictures of You, is receiving all kinds of praise and good ink. Its story focuses on the aftermath of a car crash that leaves one woman dead — a survivor’s tale that hits on a variety of compelling themes, including grief, guilt, secrets, and the limits of human forgiveness. Please feel free to offer up questions for Caroline throughout. As always, I’ll be moderating as we go.

Welcome, Caroline!

CAROLINE LEAVITT (CL): Thanks for coming everyone, and thank you, Brad.  Remember: no question is too embarrassing to ask me.

Greetings! I’m Gloria Harrison, a contributing author here on The Nervous Breakdown and the new TNB Book Club facilitator. I’ll be helping out by providing updates about the goings on with our Book Club selections and authors, posting reminders and updates on Facebook, and opening Book Club discussions here in The Feed. To that end:

This month’s TNB Book Club selection is Caroline Leavitt’s Pictures of You.


There’s a hornet in the car. Isabelle hears a buzz and then feels a brush of wing against her cheek. A grape-size electric motor sings past her right ear. What’s it doing out in this weather? she wonders. It rumbles past her again, and she practically jumps. She tries to wave it outside, but instead it kamikazes to the back of 
the car, navigating among her cameras. Which is worse, she thinks, waiting for the sting, or the sting itself? She opens all the windows wider.

I’m happy to be here today interviewing the very strange, sometimes reclusive and sarcastically silly Caroline Leavitt about her new novel, Pictures of You. The novel swirls around a mysterious car crash in the fog, and the colliding lives of four people: Isabelle, a photographer fleeing her philandering husband; April, a wife and mother with a terrible secret; Sam, a young asthmatic with a secret of his own; and Charlie, the husband and father who is desperate to know what his wife and son were doing in the car with a suitcase three hours away from home.  Leavitt insists the novel asks, how do we really know the ones we love and how do we forgive the unforgivable? I want to thank Caroline from taking time away from her renowned obsessive-compulsiveness to answer my thoughtful and probing queries.