Friday, August 21, 2020

Darin Strauss's "The Queen of Tuesday"

Darin Strauss is the bestselling author of several books. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction writing and numerous other awards, Strauss has seen his work translated into fourteen languages and published in more than twenty countries.

Here he dreamacasts an adaptation of his new book, The Queen of Tuesday:
The Queen of Tuesday would be fun to cast: it's a woman in love, it has celebrity, media, glamor, and it’s set in a period we can't turn from. The glitzy 50s, New York and LA, dream-towns at their dreaming best.

It's half-fiction/half nonfiction. It tells the story of the famous Lucille Ball -- and she's named. It tells the story, too, of my unfamous grandparents -- and they're also named. And it tells the story of the affair between my grandfather and Lucille -- and that's invented. Usually, when I write novels, I have to work out, in my head, what the main characters look like. This time, actual faces of actual people stayed in my head.

So, who would play them now? Well....

Isidore Strauss: I think of him as handsome -- but not in a way you’d notice if you saw him in line at Whole Foods. I'd say there's a range from Chris O’Dowd to Tom Hiddleston. But I think the best bet would be James McAvoy. Like my grandfather., there's something in him that reads as wicked and serious at once. Someone whose charisma you might miss, but -- if you paid attention -- you'd realize he's the sort of man who licks the cream off everything. You may not notice him at first, but if you do, you might fall in love with him.

Lucille Ball: Who could play Lucille Ball when Lucille Ball herself inhabited the role so brilliantly? I think Emma Stone. She contained famous multitudes: Quirky and sexy, hilarious and loving and hard-edged, goofy and serious. Emma Stone has that. Maybe Amy Adams too? But I think Stone--among modern superstar redheads -- contains that rare has-it-allness.

Harriet Strauss: Grandma was a complex person. She had been a social creature—parties, music, laughter--and steeply intelligent. But she spent the last 30 or so years of her life as an alcoholic and--after my grandfather left -- as a hermit. I said in a recent interview that there was scorn in her, a kind of lostness. Olivia Colman could be good: That sadness behind the smile, the sense of discomfort she shows with herself, as if her bones are maybe the wrong size under her skin.

I'd be lucky to get any of these brilliant people, of course.
Follow Darin Strauss on Twitter.

Q&A with Darin Strauss.

--Marshal Zeringue