Monday, July 2, 2012

Sarah Terez Rosenblum's "Herself When She's Missing"

Sarah Terez Rosenblum has an MFA in Creative Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her fiction has appeared in literary magazines such as kill author and Underground Voices, and she was a 2011 recipient of Carve Magazine's Esoteric Fiction Award.

She forwarded an invitation to dreamcast an adaptation of her debut novel, Herself When She's Missing, to the book's protagonist, Andrea Wynn. The character's response:
Dear "My Book, The Movie"-

Whenever I asked too many questions (which was always) Jordan would tell me to write a book. No way. I’m a list maker, not a writer, so I’m not sure how you caught wind of my story, though I appreciate your interest.

I want to tell you I’ve never considered your question, but whenever I lie I touch my face or provide too much information or screw up some small detail. And anyway, why should I feel embarrassed? Culturally speaking, movies are like rain gods, things requiring worship and sacrificial offerings; naturally I’ve pondered who might play me in a movie version of my life.

Reasons I’ve imaged my life as a film:

-I’m a former film major

-Jordan’s obsession with every new release

-How else could I get through?

I had to dig around a bit to find this; all of my stuff got jumbled when I moved. It was in a box with this newsboy cap I rarely wear and a video tape that’s not even mine. Looking at it now, I’m uncertain about some choices, but I’ve annotated and updated. I hope it lives up to any expectations you might have.

Note: Where more than one actor is listed, I’ve underlined my first choice (If I have one).

Scott: Mekhi Phifer (I can’t think too much about Scott right now.)

Linda: Alison Pill

Roslyn: Lizzy Caplan or Krysten Ritter (I sort of see Ellen Page but logically she wouldn’t take on a comparatively minor role. Plus she’d have to use stilts; Roslyn has to be tall.)

Peter Anderson: John Cameron Mitchell; or Josh Groban (Too young but just treacly enough.)

Adrienne Anderson: Katherine Moennig (Again, too young, but perfect, knobby spine); Melissa Ferrick (Probably can’t act); or Anne Ramsay (Though hot, flat affect)...none is quite right....

Jordan: Ally Sheedy? (No wonder actors are reluctant to play gay; one amazing lesbian role* and she springs immediately to mind); Helen Hunt (There’s something shrunken/exhausted about her lately. And what was up with that movie where Bette Midler played her mom?)

Updated: Before sending this off, I figured I’d sleep on it. Good thing I did because I dreamed Holly Hunter** lived in an underwater cave during the zombie apocalypse. Strong-jawed and shotgun toting, she rescued me from teeth-gnashing undead. Jordan, I thought, as I jolted awake.

Andrea (me): Natalie Portman (Too beautiful?); Anne Hathaway** (Doing her pre-Prada/Princess “my hair is curly and I wear glasses but underneath I’m a catch” schtick. (See The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada)

I’m truncating the list here, though it actually continues. (Example: Miley Cyrus as Hanna/Tanner). I figure no one would be interested in the bit players besides me.

*Specifically: the 1998 film, High Art, a luminous beacon of optimism in a dark land ravaged by the likes of Go Fish and Bar Girls. The film is visually riveting and gives hope for lesbian movies (although pigeonholing High Art as lesbian diminishes its scope and reach).

** Perhaps too old, but does age even matter? Time makes no sense anyway.

Andrea Wynn
Learn more about the book and author at Sarah Terez Rosenblum's website.

--Marshal Zeringue