Sunday, August 4, 2013

Susanna Daniel's "Sea Creatures"

Susanna Daniel is the author of two novels. Stiltsville was a winner of the 2011 PEN/Bingham award for debut fiction, and Sea Creatures was named an Amazon Editors’ Top Pick in August of 2013. Daniel is a co-founder of the Madison Writers’ Studio and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Columbia University. Her work has been published in NewsweekSlateEpoch, and elsewhere. She was born and raised in Miami, Florida, and now lives with her family in Madison, Wisconsin.

Here Daniel dreamcasts an adaptation of Sea Creatures:
Georgia, the narrator of Sea Creatures, has curly masses of dark, coarse hair, and large breasts – otherwise, she is keenly aware that she’s not particularly beautiful. If not for this last bit, I’d cast Catherine Keener, but Catherine is too striking and tall and not bosomy enough, sadly. And other than they are too young (and also too pretty), I’d cast Alia Shawkat or Ginnifer Goodwin or Ellen Page – so in the end, I’ll have to dye her hair and go with the talented and chameleonlike Jennifer Lawrence!

Twice in Sea Creatures, Georgia is compared to or drawn as a mermaid (there’s context, I promise), and for what it’s worth I think Jennifer Lawrence would be a stunning mermaid.

For the attractive, older recluse character, Charlie Hicks, I’d cast – who else? – Jeff Bridges (at his fittest and shortest and most groomed, to be frank).

Now I’m pausing to picture Jennifer Lawrence and Jeff Bridges in a scene thick with sexual tension. Which is not unpleasant.

For Graham, who is a parasomniac and avid cyclist and very tall, with prematurely white hair and deep-set eyes and flamingo legs, I’d cast Matthew Modine. If he’s not available, I’ll go with Ewan McGregor (who, by the by, can do no wrong).

For Lidia, the chatty but loving stepmother, I’d cast my old friend Raul’s mother Patricia Mendoza, who for some reason I pictured as the physical model for Lidia, and who would kill it on the big screen.

For Georgia’s late mother Gigi, seen in flashback, in homage to my own late mother, I’d cast a young Meryl Streep, but of course.
Learn more about the book and author at Susanna Daniel's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Stiltsville.

Writers Read: Susanna Daniel.

--Marshal Zeringue