Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Chris Cander's "The Young of Other Animals"

Chris Cander is the USA Today bestselling author of A Gracious Neighbor, The Weight of a Piano, which was named an Indie Next Great Read in both hardcover and paperback and which the New York Times called, “immense, intense and imaginative,” Whisper Hollow, also named an Indie Next Great Read, and 11 Stories, named by Kirkus as one of the best books of 2013 and winner of the Independent Publisher Book Awards for fiction. She also wrote the children’s picture book The Word Burglar, and the Audible Originals “Eddies” and “Grieving Conversations.” Cander’s fiction has been published in twelve languages. She lives in her native Houston with her husband and two children.

Here Cander dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, The Young of Other Animals:
Writing The Young of Other Animals was a visceral experience, beyond just recreating the memory of a physical attack; it was as though I was sitting at Mayree’s kitchen table, observing her and the other characters from a ghostly vantage. I could smell her unfiltered Camel cigarettes and hear the low cheer of The Price Is Right audience coming from the TV in the other room. If I’d stood up, I might’ve slipped on the King Ranch casserole she smashed on her tile floor or seen Paula sneaking in through the back door.

There are plenty of directors who could bring this story to life, but as a fan of Todd Haynes’s movies, I think he’d be my top choice. First, he does period pieces well. I’m thinking of the dual eras (1927 and 1977) in Wonderstruck and the 1950s setting in Carol. He tackles domestic disharmony (Safe) and restrictive societal norms (Far from Heaven) with both flair and understated elegance. I’d love to see his take on Mayree, and whether he’d agree with me that the actress Evangeline Lilly could embody Mayree’s tough-as-Texas forbearance and Sadie Sink, a Lone Star native, could portray Paula.
Visit Chris Cander's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Weight of a Piano.

The Page 69 Test: The Young of Other Animals.

--Marshal Zeringue