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The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal by Lily Koppel (audio interview)
**Scroll down to the gray arrow to listen to the interview
The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal by Lily Koppel
Introduction written by Lily Koppel:
Ever since I climbed into a dumpster outside of I apartment building and rescued a 75-year-old diary, kept by a young woman in the 1930s, I strongly believed that this story was an important one to tell. THE RED LEATHER DIARY: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal (HarperCollins), is about my discovery of Florence Wolfson’s diary, the amazing life that is portrayed in its pages and the return of the diary to its owner at 90. The book speaks to the significance and “private truths” of all of our lives.
Thanks for baring with the sound quality–sometimes these phone interviews are challenging.For a chance to win a FREE copy of The Red Leather Diary, simply leave a comment below the interview post on www.WordsToMouth.com or call 206-309-7318 and leave a voice mail. Be sure I’ve got your mailing address ~ email Carrie@WordsToMouth.com.Subscribe at iTunes
Thanks as always to Natali Brown for You Gotta Believe from the Podsafe Music Network.
- THE RED LEATHER DIARY Website: www.redleatherdiary.com
- The New York Times Review: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/books/review/Newhouse-t.html
- The Chicago Tribune Review: http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/booksmags/chi-diarybw17may17,0,2069869.story
- The Today Show: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24159947/
Carrie: What inspired you to write this book?
Jasmin: I’ve always wanted to be a novelist, but this book was inspired by the column I wrote for the New York Post a few summers back. Each Sunday, I documented my experiences in my Hamptons share house – a unique twentysomething phenomenon I felt was relatively unexplored in literature. Like one of my characters, I did the Hamptons expecting to find a glamorous scene–a “summer playground for the rich and famous” marked by wealth and prestige and celebrity. Most surprisingly, share house life is the total antithesis of that.
Carrie: Give us an idea of the plot without giving too much away.
Jasmin: “One house. Forty strangers. Add vodka and stir…”
My novel follows three twenty-something girls who trade in generous portions of their entry-level incomes for shares in the Hamptons. They have different personalities and different goals for the summer (one wants a serious boyfriend, another a wild time), but are thrown into a camp-like “Animal House meets Real World” situation that forges unexpected self-discovery.
Carrie: What is the primary message you’d like your readers to take away from this book? What is the underlying theme?
Jasmin: I hope to enlighten people about the share house experience, I hope they laugh and empathize with the experiences of these girls, and I hope to undo some of the disrepute that has come to be associated with “The Hamptons.”
A recurring theme in my book is that of rules (are they necessary in a share house? a relationship? in general?). Personally speaking, I followed “the rules” upon graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, and like the bulk of my peers, worked in one of the appropriate professions (finance) and lived in a dorm-like building in one of the appropriate areas (Murray Hill).
Quite frankly, it wasn’t enough, so I did the unthinkable and quit my job, moved back home with my parents, and set about my dream of becoming a novelist. What I’d like people to take away from my book, from my journey, is that willingness to defy the norm (to “break the rules”) in pursuit of what they really believe in.