Below is a link to a Q and A I did with Random House in honor of National Library Week. There are a half-dozen questions.
Here is one.
RH LIBRARY: If you were a character in a book who would you be?
CHRIS BOHJALIAN: Well, I would want that person to be alive and happy at the end of the story, so that immediately eliminates a lot of my favorite characters from novels. I really don’t want to end up dead in my swimming pool a la Jay Gatsby or burned beyond recognition a la the English Patient. And it might be nice to be young. And, perhaps, to have learned something in the course of my story – to have grown as a person.
So, I am going to pick the ten-year-old narrator of Patrick Dennis’s hilarious and underappreciated 1964 tale of one Manhattan family’s near implosion – and Mom and Dad’s near divorce – “The Joyous Season.” The novel is narrated by the family’s acerbic, insightful, and precocious ten-year-old son, Kerry (which, he tells us, “is short for Kerrington, for cripes sake”). Imagine Holden Caulfield with a sense of humor.
I first read the book when I was in sixth grade, and I’ve re-read it three or four times since. It has never disappointed me – and neither has Kerry.
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To read the entire Q and A, click here: