Kristen-Paige Madonia is the recipient of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference Tennessee Williams Scholarship and the New Orleans Literary Festival/Tennessee Williams Fiction Prize. She is a graduate of the California State University, Long Beach MFA program, and her short fiction has been published in New Orleans Review, American Fiction: Best Previously Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers, and Sycamore Review, among others. She has been awarded fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the Juniper Summer Writing Institute, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Hedgebrook Writers’ Retreat, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Studios of Key West. She currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she teaches creative writing.
Visit her at KristenPaigeMadonia.com
What is the first book you remember reading by yourself as a child?
I can’t say for certain which was the very first book, but the first one I remember reading by myself repeatedly was Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. I’m a firm believer that authors should write to be heard not just read, that it’s crucial to pay attention to the rhythm and sounds of our words, and I’m guessing it was Silvertein’s work that initially instilled that awareness in me.
What are you reading right now?
I tend to read three books at once – a collection of stories, a novel, and a nonfiction book on writing or the publishing industry. So right now the three on my nightstand are Antonya Nelson’s Nothing Right, The Lost Saints of Tennessee by Amy Franklin-Willis, and The Half-Known World: On Writing Fiction by Robert Boswell.
How does your garden grow?
My husband and I plant a vegetable garden every year, and in the spring we enjoy tons of fresh greens in our homemade salads. But sadly, in the summer, my garden typically grows with lots of bug-appeal. We often get aphids and fat black worms that eat all the squash and zucchini leaves. I don’t use any chemicals, so I spend a lot of time in the summer plucking bugs from the plants and vegetables.
What is the last thing you Googled?
I just Googled the 2013 lineup for FloydFest, a summer music festival in Virginia my husband and I go to every year. They announced the initial bands and put tickets on sale this morning!
What makes you cringe?
The sound of bubble gum snapping – it’s funny, when I was a kid my mom used to tell us not to pop bubbles when we chewed gum, and I thought it was so silly that it bugged her. Now it drives me crazy, too.
On the verge of revisiting her mother’s mistakes, Lemon struggles to cope with the idea of herself as a young unmarried mother, as well as the fact that she’s never met her own father. Determined to have at least one big adventure before she has the baby, Lemon sets off on a cross-country road trip, intending not only to meet her father, but to figure out who she wants to be.
Lyrical and moving prose from an original voice whose writing Judy Blume calls “luminous” deftly depicts the nuanced conflicts of early motherhood and the search for identity.
- Reading level: Ages 14 and up
- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (August 7, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1442429208
- ISBN-13: 978-1442429208