Award-winning author and 2008 Pulitzer Prize finalist Lore Segal read from her charming and entertaining novella “Lucinella” and from her book “Shakespeare’s Kitchen” Saturday at the 12th annual Get Lit! Festival.
Segal began with an explanation of her introduction to “Lucinella,” which is titled “Lucinella apologizes to the world for using it.” According to Segal, it is a common apology made by writers because they often use people’s behaviors or features to create the perfect character.
“Somebody sits across from us at the dentist’s office, and you say, ‘Ah-ha! You’re going to be in my book,'” said Segal. “We make characters out of bits and pieces” of people we see in our everyday lives.
While the crowd laughed, Segal read the scene-setting introduction to the community of fickle, praise-seeking characters who meet regularly at parties to talk about whatever they are currently writing. Lucinella, the protagonist, is a poet living in New York City in the ‘70s struggling daily with the task of organizing her writing, life and apartment.
Segal also read an excerpt from “Shakespeare’s Kitchen” titled “Other People’s Deaths,” which illustrated the difficulty that character Ilka Weisz faced upon losing her husband.
“Shakespeare’s Kitchen” is a compilation of 13 interconnected stories, seven of which were first published in The New Yorker. The stories are about Weisz and a crowd of intellectuals who are struggling to make connections in life.
“‘Other People’s Deaths’ is about something you may or may not know: the difficulty of consoling other people,” Segal said. She added that she has been on both ends of the spectrum.
Segal is currently working on a funny book about being old and hopes to have it completed by the end of the year and published this time next year.