Monday, April 16, 2018

Susan Henderson's "The Flicker of Old Dreams"

Susan Henderson is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the recipient of an Academy of American Poets award. She is the author of the novels Up from the Blue (2010) and The Flicker of Old Dreams (2018).

Here Henderson dreamcasts an adaptation of The Flicker of Old Dreams:
There is some Hollywood interest in this book, so let's hope all this casting is for real.

The book is about the death of small town America as told by a mortician. Mary, the narrator of the book, is the town's embalmer and more comfortable with the dead than the living. She's socially awkward but has a strong sense of self. Is there a female Edward Norton? An introverted Amanda Palmer? Whoever plays her has to be quirky and layered and have things to say but lack the courage to say them.

Matthew Gray Gubler (from Criminal Minds) or Ezra Miller (Perks of Being a Wallflower) could play Robert, the damaged outcast who returns to this small town to be with his terminally ill mother. His homecoming peels a scab off an old wound in town and sets the trouble in motion.

Frances McDormand (Fargo) would be great as his mother, Doris, who is dying of lung cancer and churns out paint-by-numbers art. Her character teaches Mary something about living.

I'd love to see Michael Keaton (Birdman) as Mary's father, the funeral director, who suffers from depression and alcoholism. He wants to find love, if only he could figure out how to do it better.

His best friend, the sheriff, would be really powerful with Benicio Del Toro or John Malkovich in the role, as he crosses a line to protect the traditions of this small town.
Learn more about the book and author at Susan Henderson's website.

The Page 69 Test: Up From the Blue.

The Page 69 Test: The Flicker of Old Dreams.

Writers Read: Susan Henderson.

--Marshal Zeringue