Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Katy Simpson Smith's "The Everlasting"

Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She received a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She is the author of We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835, and the novels The Story of Land and Sea and Free Men. Her writing has also appeared in The Oxford American, Granta, Literary Hub, Garden & Gun, Catapult, and Lenny. She lives in New Orleans, and currently serves as the Eudora Welty Chair for Southern Literature at Millsaps College.

Here Smith dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, The Everlasting.
Ah, the fantasy of seeing words come to life! I don't have strong images of my characters when I write, but let's assume that a director comes calling (one who really gets women; Céline Sciamma, otherwise divine, might be a bit too stark, and Sofia Coppola might be too ethereal, so maybe Greta Gerwig for her sense of humor):

Tom, a biologist, mild-mannered and indecisive and overly vulnerable to romance: Ben Whishaw, Domhnall Gleeson, Tom Hiddleston; is there something about meek nerdiness that only British actors can pull off? All the Americans I know are too hunky.

Giulia, a young noblewoman with Moorish ancestry and a chip on her shoulder, full of dry wit: Gugu Mbatha-Raw has the perfect attitude, along with the chops to do historical pieces.

Felix, an elderly monk, gay, with a Zen-like acceptance of mortality: Tom Hanks might be a bit too young and vigorous, but his sweetness is right; the Pope-Francis Jonathan Pryce might be perfect.

Prisca, age 12, fierce and gangly and uncompromising: if only Atonement-era Saoirse Ronan could be caught in amber!
Visit Katy Simpson Smith's website.

Writers Read: Katy Simpson Smith.

--Marshal Zeringue