On Monday, author Meg Wolitzer visited the summer law interns at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP. Meg’s visit was the fourth visit in our Summer Law Firm Reading Series.
Ms. Wolitzer’s visit began with a luncheon, featuring Thai cuisine and conversation between the audience and Ms. Wolitzer herself. Following the meal, Jo talked about Behind the Book and welcomed Meg to the podium to begin the reading. She chose a passage from her latest book, The Interestings, a novel that follows the lives of six teenagers from the beginnings of their friendships in the summer of 1973, through middle age.
After reading, Meg gave the interns some valuable insight into her writing process. “When I write, I try to stay open to what might happen. Suppose I want to kill a character, but they just don’t want to die, I have to leave room for the story to go somewhere else,” she said. This discussion evolved into a question-and-answer session, in which the interns asked about her inspiration and how she chose the cover for her book.
One of the more poignant questions was, “How do you develop such rich characters?” To which Ms. Wolitzer sagely responded, “When you remember a good book, you don’t remember plot, you remember characters. And so with this book, instead of writing lyrically, I focused on character development. I was inspired by the British longitudinal documentary series Up, in which a group of twenty kids are filmed every once seven years. You could see their progression through time and how their lives changed so drastically, and that’s what I wanted for the characters in this book.”
Ms. Wolitzer then signed the law interns’ books, and chatted with them as they stood in line.
The Behind the Book Law Firm Reading Series is also a gateway for young professionals to learn more about getting involved with our Young Executive Board. The YEB is an opportunity for young professionals to support literacy, meet other like-minded professionals, and gain experience being on a board without having to make the same time or financial commitment as a regular board member would. If you are, or someone you know would be, interested in getting involved with our Young Executive Board, please contact Mica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in hosting a reading at your place of employment, women’s group, parents’ group, or other group within your firm or corporation, please contact Jo at email@example.com.