Friday, August 8, 2008

Elizabeth McKenzie's "MacGregor Tells the World"

Elizabeth McKenzie's writing has appeared in the New York Times, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Pushcart Prize XXV, Other Voices, Threepenny Review, TriQuarterly, and ZYZZYVA. Her stories have been performed at Symphony Space in New York and Stories on Stage in Chicago, and recorded for NPR's "Selected Shorts."

Her book Stop That Girl is "a series of chronological stories that, taken together, uncover the life story of Ann Ransom, a native Californian who moves from childhood to adulthood with poise, intelligence, and humor."

Here she develops some ideas about the director and cast should her debut novel MacGregor Tells the World be adapted for the movies:
It begins with Ang Lee (The Ice Storm, Brokeback Mountain, Sense and Sensibility), who will direct. He has great feeling for the world of the outsider, while allowing a character plenty of dignity. He's great with social comedy too. I think Jemaine Clement would be a perfect Mac, but my distant cousin Bret McKenzie would do just as well. Someone scruffy and funny and poetic. For Carolyn Ware, we need beauty and intelligence and reserve masking fury and shame. Maybe Evan Rachel Wood. (Kate Winslet from the time of Hideous Kinky would've been just right.)

Ang Lee would also nail the comedy of manners to be found in Charles Ware's world of toadies and sycophants, the kind of monstrous conglomerate of ego. For Charles Ware, someone creepy and dissipated like Christopher Walken or John Malkovich or Donald Sutherland would fit the bill. For William Galeotto, a latter day Marlon Brando would've worked, but today I'd be thrilled to have the stage actor Marco Barricelli croaking out those lines from the dark. For Mac's cousin Fran, we're back to The Flight of the Conchords--Kristen Schaal would be the icing on the cake.
Read an excerpt from MacGregor Tells the World, and learn more about the author and her work at Elizabeth McKenzie's website and MySpace page.

The Page 69 Test: MacGregor Tells the World.

--Marshal Zeringue