I was first charmed by Meg Wolitzer's writing in my early twenties. Having recently been cast into a world of college courses and first professional jobs, I loved Wolitzer's The Position
because it invoked the tight-knit family dynamics and quirkiness of childhood that I so sorely missed at that time. Wolitzer's niche is in novels that explore friendships and relationships across time, and her latest, The Interestings
, digs deep into that niche to explore questions about love, art, youth and aging.
opens in Spirit-in-the-Woods, a summer camp for young artist types. Most of the campers, like Ash and Goodman, are children of wealthy New Yorkers. Still others, like Jonah, are the children of folk singers, or simply middle-class kids, like Jules and Ethan, who are attending camp on a scholarship. Despite their differences,...
Beyond the Book
Though The Interestings
spans several decades, most of the novel takes place in and around New York City in the 1970s. This decade was a low point for the city, which had been in a gradual economic decline during the 1960s with rolling blackouts, subway strikes, sanitation strikes, and riots (most notably the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots, which marked the beginning of the gay rights movement).
By the early 1970s, New York City had become infamous for crime, filth, and poverty. The NYPD was rife with...