Emily Chenoweth is a former fiction editor of Publishers Weekly. Her work has appeared in Tin House, Bookforum, and People, among other publications. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
This biography was last updated on 05/07/2009.
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Emily Chenoweth discusses her. first novel, Hello Goodbye, which was inspired by a week that her family and parents' friends spent in a New Hampshire resort to say goodbye to her dying mother
Can you talk about the real-life event
that inspired Hello Goodbye?
My mother was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor during my first year of college. The following summer, my father arranged a family trip to the Mount Washington Hotel, a big, old fashioned resort in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, so that my parents and their East Coast friends could spend some time together before my mother died. I have a handful of pictures from that week, which I looked at a lot as I began to write the book. I kept a journal back then, too, but I lost it a long time ago. Which could be a good thing or a bad thing, I don't know. Right now, if someone asked me to write down what I actually remember about that week at the hotel, I could do it in ten pages or less. I'm not sure if it's because I have a terrible memory, or if it's because not remembering is part of some psychic defense mechanism.
Your circumstances back then sound very much like Abby'sbut this isn't a memoir?
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