Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Zoe T. Leroy interviews Maureen Medved, author of The Tracey Fragments

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Zoe T. Leroy interviews Maureen Medved, author of The Tracey Fragments

In 1999, my fabulous then-roomie, Mariko, recommended I read a slim blue book about an impetuous teen named Tracey. We were both writing thinly-veiled novels about our melodramatic teen years at the time (Thank *god* I didn't publish mine - Bottle Rocket Hearts is not an autobiography by any stretch:, but M.T.'s first novel was definitely amazing enough to be published) Anyway, this EMERGENCY of a girl called Tracey spoke to me. I still re-read it every time I have trouble getting inside the head of a new character.

In case you've been living under a rock, the book has since been made into a film by Bruce McDonald, featuring hot topic creepy teen Ellen Page. [Did you see Hard Candy? Can we talk about that movie? Bueller?] You can apparently edit together footage from the movie and submit your versions on youtube. It's like a youtube feeding frenzy in marketing land lately. Are we bored of it yet? Never!

Anyway, it's my second-to-last column, so I'm going on a bit. I'm going to miss this blank space. I interviewed author Maureen Medved via email to ask her what it's like to have a book turned into a film, and what she thinks about the hype around Ms. Berkowtiz-Page. Here is what she had to say:

ZW: Have you seen the film? What involvement did you have?

MM: I have seen the film. My first viewing of the completed version was in Berlin at the Berlin Film Festival. I enjoyed the film very much. I thought Bruce's interpretation was amazing because it was the closest anyone could get to getting cinematically inside Tracey's psyche, thereby resonating with the fragmented style of the book. At its best, film pushes the boundaries of visual language. Very few films accomplish this, but Bruce did it with this film. I adapted my novel into the screenplay.

ZW: How do you feel about the book now that it's been out for so many years (8 or so?) and is now experiencing new life? Do you feel very distant from it as a writer?

MM: I do feel more distant from the book, but I love Tracey the way a mother would love her child. It's just that I'm working with other characters now that Tracey has grown up and left home, so to speak. But I enjoy seeing her when I get the chance.

ZW: Any new novels (or other book-length projects) in the works?

MM: I am currently putting the finishing touches on a new novel. I'm also working on several screenplays.

Good night, dear readers. Stay tuned for pics tomorrow night where I hand out candy to Annex children dressed as, of course, J. T. Leroy. or perhaps, Laura Albert. I haven't decided yet.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Zoe Whittall

Zoe Whittall is the author of the novel Bottle Rocket Hearts (Cormorant, 2007) and two volumes of poetry, The Emily Valentine Poems (Snare, 2006) and The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life (McGilligan, 2001).

Go to Zoe Whittall’s Author Page