Photos / Amy Bloom
There are writers who write fine novels, and they are a gift in and of themselves.
And then there are writers who supplement those novels with amazing (and engaging) backstory material. Amy Bloom, who will read from her new novel, Lucky Us, at the University Park Public Library at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, has provided her readers with that special supplementary material on her website, amybloom.com.
The most fascinating to us was the explanation that all of the chapters in this tale about two traveling half sisters are named after jazz songs.
Here’s how Bloom explains it:
For me, chapter titles, like short story titles, are both gifts to the reader, a little extra, and prisms through which the chapter can be both previewed and reviewed. If you know the song, you can hear it, playing faintly in your head. And if you don’t, you haven’t missed out—the words themselves still evoke and invite: They can’t take that away from me; Spring will be a little late this year…
My mother sang me everything from “Bicycle Built for Two” to “When You Wore a Tulip” to “Lullaby of Broadway.” She, like me, sang poorly but with great feeling and more than enough brio (and jazzhands). Thanks to her, I have been enjoying the music of Irving Berlin, Louis Armstrong, Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter, Fats Waller, Jerome Kern and the Gershwins since the day I was born.
Before television, much of our public and private entertainment centered on music. Although there was, then as now, cultural divides (age, color), much of the music that was played at home on the record player, at the dance clubs and over the radio was listened to by 132 million people. The high school girl, her science teacher, the principal, the custodian and the guy who delivered school supplies all listened to the same music. The older people didn’t listen to everything the teen-ager loved and white middle-aged men may have listened to Bing Crosby more than Billie Holiday but people who listened to music could find a lot of other people who shared their musical taste, and the knowledge of every lyric, at the gas pump, at the grocery store, on the bus and at every gathering place.
Click here to check out the chapter titles and listen to the songs that inspired them.
Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty sponsors the University Park Public Library’s Listen UP! Women’s Words of Wisdom summer author series, which brings Bloom to Dallas. For more information Bloom’s appearance, click here.
CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with six offices in Dallas, Uptown, Lakewood, Ranch and Land, The Ballpark and Southlake.