THE ADIRONDACK REVIEW: What inspired you to write Notebooks of My Other Selves: Intimate Memoirs of Three Women? Was there a specific experience or moment that sparked this project?
Jan Garden Castro: The novel opens in the cabin in the Sierras where I began the novel. It was a magical time: my book The Art & Life of Georgia O'Keeffe was being printed in Milan by the leading art press; the vistas in the high Sierras were visually compelling, and I was in an unusual situation of having the time and space to sort out the psychologically dramatic relationships around me, including my own. There are also literary and artistic influences, some of which are named in the Preface. I was reading Margaret Sayers Peden's brilliant translation of Carlos Fuentes' Terra Nostra, and I had already read La Celestina, the 1499 tragi-comic novel by Fernando de Rojas which is a core influence of Terra Nostra.
TAR: How long have you been working on Notebooks?
JGC: I wrote the first draft during that early period and have only recently picked up the threads.
TAR: After many years as a poet and nonfiction writer, what brought you to fiction?
JGC: I have written short fiction over the years, and usually it is more provocative than my poetry. However, since I earn my living as a writer, it never occurred to me to try to publish my fiction! Thank you for discovering me!
The Adirondack Review is pleased to present the opening chapters of Notebooks of My Other Selves: Intimate Portraits of Three Women by Jan Garden Castro.Further selections will appear in the Summer and Fall issues.