Meg Wolitzer

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Meg Wolitzer werd geboren op 28 mei 1959 in Brooklyn, New York, als dochter van Hilma Wolitzer (geboren Liebman), ook een schrijfster, en Morton Wolitzer, een psycholoog. Ze werd Joods opgevoed en studeerde creatief schrijven aan het Smith College en studeerde in 1981 af aan de Brown University. Ze schreef haar eerste roman, “Sleepwalking”, toen zij nog een undergraduate was; het werd gepubliceerd in 1982. Zij publiceerde vervolgens “Hidden Pictures” (1986), “This Is Your Life” (1988), “Surrender, Dorothy” (1998), “The Wife” (2003), “The Position” (2005), “The Ten-Year Nap” (2008), “The Uncoupling” (2011 ) en “The Interestings” (2013). Haar korte verhaal “Tea at the House” werd opgenomen in de Best American Short Stories-Collection van 1998. Haar roman voor jongere lezers, “The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman”, verscheen in 2011. Wolitzer was ook co-auteur, met Jesse Green, van een boek met cryptische kruiswoordpuzzels: “Nutcrackers: Devilishly Addictive Mind Twisters for the Insatiably Verbivorous” (1991), en schreef over de relatieve moeilijkheid waarmee vrouwelijke schrijvers geconfronteerd worden bij het verkrijgen van lovende kritieken. Wolitzer doceerde creatief schrijven aan de Writers ‘Workshop van de University of Iowa, Skidmore College, en was recentelijk een gastschrijfster aan de Princeton University. In het afgelopen decennium heeft ze ook lesgegeven in het MFA-programma van Stony Brook Southampton in het Creative Writing-programma en de Southampton Writers Conference en de Florence Writers Workshop. Drie films zijn gebaseerd op haar werk; “This Is My Life”, geregisseerd door Nora Ephron, de in 2006 gemaakte televisievideo, “Surrender, Dorothy” en het drama “The Wife” uit 2017, met in de hoofdrol Glenn Close.

Uit: The Wife

“The moment I decided to leave him, the moment I thought, enough, we were thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean, hurtling forward but giving the illusion of stillness and tranquility. Just like our marriage, I could have said, but why ruin everything right now? Here we were in first-class splendor, tentatively separated from anxiety; there was no turbulence and the sky was bright, and somewhere among us, possibly, sat an air marshal in dull traveler’s disguise, perhaps picking at a little dish of oily nuts or captivated by the zombie prose of the in-flight magazine. Drinks had already been served before takeoff, and we were both frankly bombed, our mouths half open, our heads tipped back. Women in uniform carried baskets up and down the aisles like a sexualized fleet of Red Riding Hoods.
“Will you have some cookies, Mr. Castleman?” a brunette asked him, leaning over with a pair of tongs, and as her breasts slid forward and then withdrew, I could see the ancient mechanism of arousal start to whir like a knife sharpener inside him, a sight I’ve witnessed thousands of times over all these decades. “Mrs. Castleman?” the woman asked me then, in afterthought, but I declined. I didn’t want her cookies, or anything else.
We were on our way to the end of the marriage, heading toward the moment when I would finally get to yank the two-pronged plug from its holes, to turn away from the husband I’d lived with year after year. We were on our way to Helsinki, Finland, a place no one ever thinks about unless they’re listening to Sibelius, or lying on the hot, wet slats of a sauna, or eating a bowl of reindeer. Cookies had been distributed, drinks decanted, and all around me, video screens had been arched and tilted. No one on this plane was fixated on death right now, the way we’d all been earlier, when, wrapped in the trauma of the roar and the fuel-stink and the distant, braying chorus of Furies trapped inside the engines, an entire planeload of minds—Economy, Business Class, and The Chosen Few—came together as one and urged this plane into the air like an audience willing a psychic’s spoon to bend.
Of course, that spoon bent every single time, its tip drooping down like some top-heavy tulip. And though airplanes didn’t lift every single time, tonight this one did. Mothers handed out activity books and little plastic bags of Cheerios with dusty sediment at the bottom; businessmen opened laptops and waited for the stuttering screens to settle. If he was on board, the phantom air marshal ate and stretched and adjusted his gun beneath a staticky little square of Dynel blanket, and our plane rose in the sky until it hung suspended at the desired altitude, and finally I decided for certain that I would leave my husband. Definitely. For sure. One hundred percent. Our three children were gone, gone, gone, and there would be no changing my mind, no chickening out.”


Meg Wolitzer (New York, 28 mei 1959)

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