Omaha Public Library recently had the pleasure of hosting Nashville-based author Jennie Fields. Her recent book, The Age of Desire, offers a glimpse into the life of author Edith Wharton and her love affair with journalist Morton Fullerton.
1.) How would you describe Omaha? We know this was your first time here!
Omaha was a revelation for me! [It’s] such a vibrant, fun and welcoming city. First of all, I fell in love with everyone I met. I can’t tell you how many people told me they felt lucky to live there. There was a sense of enthusiasm, hope for the future, and just plain fun that you don’t find very often these days. And, of course, I fell in love with the Old Market. So charming, so distinctive. And wow: the restaurants!
2.) What is your all-time favorite book?
I’d have to say The House of Mirth. What astounds me about that book is that Lily Bart, the main character, is undone not by her flaws – as most tragic characters are – but by her better nature, and what could be more tragic than that?
3.) Which five words would you use to describe The Age of Desire?
Oh my, what a challenge. Sensuous, Melancholy, Complex, Tender, (and hopefully) Page-Turning.
4.) Writers need inspiration. Where do you find yours?
Well, in this case, I certainly found inspiration in Edith Wharton’s books. I read a few pages of Wharton before every day I began writing. I never tire of her books. I find her voice still modern after all these years, especially in how she writes so efficiently. Her images are brilliantly sharp, immediate, and never over-written.
5.) What are your plans for the future? We read you’re writing a novel on Georgia O’Keeffe.
I was researching a novel on O’Keeffe that frankly I still would like to write, but as someone has just sold a finished novel about O’Keeffe, I’m having to put it on the back burner. I can’t share with you who I’m pursuing at the moment. But I can say it will be another novel about a strong woman overcoming society’s obstacles.