Episode 37: Marlena by Julie Buntin
"Tell me what you can't forget, and I'll tell you who you are." So many things Cat can't forget about the year she was fifteen. It was the year her father left her mother; the year they moved to a place that was rural and poor and shut down any dreams of something better; the year she stopped going to school and started having sex and learned to equate drinking with escape; the year she met Marlena. The year Marlena died. "I've never believed in the idea of an innocent bystander," Cat tells us from twenty years later, looking back. "The act of watching changes what happens." The act of telling, too. What to leave out and what to put in? What will explain what happened to Marlena and what made Cat who she is? What's fair and what isn't? What's true and what's not? This is a novel about secrets and lies; about friendship and love; about guilt and survival; about the things we omit, and how they matter as much, or more, than the things that we say.
Host Cyd Oppenheimer talks with author Julie Buntin about books that are about what it means to write a book, about "the space between what happened and what you remember and how you tell it," and about the way "remembering somebody is an act of love."