Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fiona Maazel's "Last Last Chance"

Fiona Maazel is a writer and freelance editor. Her work has appeared in Bomb, The Boston Book Review, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Mississippi Review, Pierogi Press, Salon.com, Tin House, The Village Voice, and The Yale Review. She was named one of the 5 Best Writers Under 35 by the National Book Foundation.

Maazel's novel Last Last Chance was a Time Out New York Best Book of the Year.

Here she tags a couple of directors and one candidate for the lead actor's role in a film adaptation of Last Last Chance:
Oh, man, whenever I get asked to say something apropos contemporary culture, I despair. Who’d star in the movie version of my novel? What is this thing called movie? Could be the only actor I’ve heard of is Philip Seymour Hoffman, and that only because he’s got pretensions to serious art, and I am just pretentious enough to catch wind of that kind of thing. Alas, I can’t think of a suitable role for him, unless he wants to play the Older Drunk Guy, but then didn’t he cover that in Long Day’s Journey into Night? For the record: O’Neill to Maazel is not a trajectory I recommend. Even so, don’t get me wrong: I am nowhere near above dreaming my novel into a movie, though I hardly care about the movie part. I certainly wouldn’t want to write the script or even see the script or know anything about the script (anyone share the urge just to call a rose a rose, and ditch the t?) and I’m not sure I’d want to see the film, either, unless Ang Lee or—I dream of genie—the Coen brothers decided to have a go. Droll, morbid, lotta death and almost no sex, what more do they want? Thus far, they’ve come clamoring up my step twice, but wouldn’t you know it, I wasn’t home. So, yeah, the Coen brothers would be good. And you know who else? That redhead from Six Feet Under, she’s droll and moribund—though maybe she was just channeling the show—but with new hair, she might incarnate to splendid effect one Lucy Clarke, who narrates my novel with, I hope, some mix of brio and despair. There’s also a lot of dead people romping about the narrative—a patsy ninth-century Viking, a fourteenth-century masochist bloody-mess man, and a pudgy eugenicist who drowns in the Gulf of Finland, ETC.—and so I’m hoping the Coen brothers, with their pull and for the sake of verisimilitude, will hire the undead. Finally, there’s a plague. Remember how in your school play, all the miasmas—the vapors and humors—got rolled into some kid bearing sandwich board and cotton beard? I think my plague deserves no less. Kid with board, in every frame, like the Greek Chorus, only not. In sum: Undead plus redhead plus board equals Best Coen Bros. movie ever. Anyone got their number?
Learn more about Last Last Chance and its author at Fiona Maazel's website.

The Page 69 Test: Last Last Chance.

--Marshal Zeringue