Audrey Niffenegger on Her Ghostly New Novel
www.time.com:If all you know of Audrey Niffenegger is her achingly romantic novel The Time Traveler’s Wife, then you’re in for a surprise with her latest. Her Fearful Symmetry, Niffenegger’s follow-up to her time-hopping bestseller, is a Victorian ghost story set in the present that’s more in tune with her creepy “visual novels” The Adventuress and The Three Incestuous Sisters. Starring a pair of waifish twins who inherit their mysterious (and dead, but maybe not-so-dead) aunt’s London flat, the book is set in and around the city’s famous Highgate Cemetery. Niffenegger talked to TIME about her favorite gardens of the dead, creepy twins and the subject of her next book.
So much of this book takes place in a cemetery that is often more peaceful and beautiful than it is scary. When you go to different cities, do you check out their graveyards? Were any particularly memorable?
You can’t do this in Highgate because it’s gated, but there are cemeteries in London where people walk their dogs and have picnics. It’s nice. But I have to say that Milan’s Cemetery Monumental is breathtaking. I was there in 1985, and it’s enormous — it has some of the most amazing memorial sculpture I’ve ever seen in my life, in a range of styles. Some of it is very expressive and slightly scary. You’ve gotta see it to believe it; it’s fairly over the top.
What’s the next book you’re working on?
The next project is tentatively titled The Chinchilla Girl in Exile. It’s about a nine-year old girl who has hypertrichosis, which is a condition in which you have lots and lots of hair. She looks kind of like Jo Jo the Dog-Faced Boy. She’s pretty hairy, and she’s been home-schooled because her family doesn’t think she is going to succeed socially in school. But she’s very plucky and she wants to have a normal life, so they reluctantly allow her to go to school. I was working on this a few years ago as a short story, and it kind of overflowed its boundaries.
I’m really interested on reading this book. What are your thoughts on this interview? Have you read Her Fearful Symmetry?
BBC’s The Big Read – 100 of Top 200
Sarah K’s 101 things in 101 days: Brings the books that should be on your to read list.
1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
See the rest of the list here
Ok, so there’s like so many still to read How many of these books have you read?