Friday, February 21, 2014

High School Reading Club:
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Snippets and ideas for this afternoon's high school reading club meeting.

If you've read Where'd You Go, Bernadette?, this may sound very familiar:

SEATTLE — Maria Semple made an instant, jarring discovery when she moved with her boyfriend and daughter from Los Angeles to Seattle, a city whose Patagonia-clad inhabitants like to talk about bicycling, the environment and the eternally dull question (in her opinion) of whether it might rain.

“It’s just not a funny place,” said Ms. Semple, a novelist and veteran comedy writer who worked on the television shows “Arrested Development” and “Mad About You.” “I was in a miserable mind frame, and I found that I was driving around and all I was thinking about were funny things about how awful Seattle was. I would do these riffs in my head and I would polish them in my head. It was poisonous and self-pitying.” New York Times, 8/15/12

How is the author like Bernadette?  
How might all the characters reflect different aspects of Maria Semple?

"Indeed, Semple's greatest strength is the courage to stock her book with characters who are, upon first glance, largely unsympathetic and then gently peel them until they become, if not entirely likable, then at least recognizably and even endearingly human."  L.A.Times, 1/1/2009
Do you like Bernadette, or Elgie, or Soo-Lin or Audrey at first?  Do you ever like them?

Maria Semple pitches her book ("it's about . . .")

The UK trailer

Short interview with Maria Semple


Pages from Maria Semple's website

About Maria Semple
Dig It, Baby - The Story of Bernadette
Extras - Links to articles,  reviews, trailers and general wacky stuff


And more
New York Times review
Entertainment Weekly interview

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