Suzanne Rindell is a doctoral student in American modernist literature at Rice University. The Other Typist is her first novel. She lives in New York City and is currently working on a second novel.
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A Conversation with Suzanne Rindell, author of The Other Typist which explores her inspirations for the book, her research into the 1920s and the ways women's roles changed at this time, and the power of literature and the written word
What inspired you to write this book?
I was immersed in 1920s literature and working on my dissertation. Somewhere along the way, I became intrigued with the sort of competitive friendships between women that F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays in many of his short stories ("Bernice Bobs Her Hair" is one of my favorites). To me, this felt like a stark contrast when compared to a lot of Victorian literature, wherein female characters seem like they're always holding hands and affectionately proclaiming sisterhood. I wrote Rose in part as a way of charting out one woman's journey through these cultural changes. She longs for the types of sisterly relationships she's read about in books, but life hands her cutthroat Odalie; she is essentially jolted into modernity.
As for the police station setting and Rose's occupation as a typist, a few things converged. I was reading an old New Yorker article that explored the impact typewriters had on the 20th century workplace ("The ...
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