|Photo by Marilyn Roos|
A Stanford University honors graduate with an MBA in finance from Columbia, Beatriz Williams lives in Connecticut with her husband and children. She is the author of the international bestsellers Overseas, A Hundred Summers, and The Secret Life of Violet Grant.
Visit Beatriz at her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
If you had told me five years ago that I’d be writing a book set in the 1960s—let alone three of them—I’d have called you a sweet little dear and bought you another drink. I’m more of a historical fiction kind of girl, and by that I mean history history, the turn of the century and the First World War, the tumultuous Twenties and the threadbare Thirties, not a decade so close I just missed living in it. (Yep, you know you’re getting old when the year of your birth starts to hover dangerously above the category of “history.”)
But here I am. And here’s my latest novel, Tiny Little Thing, darting back and forth between 1964 and 1966, during a pair of sultry summers in Boston and Cape Cod, and you know what? I loved writing it. I loved exploring the world of a glamorous, ambitious couple at the dawn of celebrity politics, and the secrets that lay beneath those television-perfect facades. I loved the Sixties! I loved how social change rubbed up against tradition, creating all kinds of narrative friction…just like, say, the 1920s. Or the turn of the century.
Or 2015. We’re heading into another presidential election cycle, and it’s the same old script, at least as far as the candidates’ wives are concerned. Perfect hair, perfect knee-length dress, perfect mask of makeup, perfectly-groomed children performing perfect Miss America waves to the crowd. And that all started in the 1960s, when television invaded every home, and a young, glamorous couple stepped into the White House and onto the world stage. Whether you adored the Kennedys or loathed them, whether you agreed with their politics or not—or whether you even knew what those were—you had to acknowledge that their good-looking public image was a fundamental part of their message. The politician and his wife have become celebrities, and the camera stands always at the ready, and what the women wear seems to matter much more than what they think.
So this is my Sixties novel, the novel I never imagined I would write. Which is fitting, really, because Tiny’s journey is all about breaking free of the life she planned, and finding the courage to explore roads she never dreamed of traveling.
Thanks to Beatriz for visiting with us and Putnam for sharing her book with our readers.
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