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.
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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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