Welcome to another installment of If My Book, the Monkeybicycle feature in which authors shed light on their recently released books by comparing them to weird things. This week Christine Sneed writes about Paris, He Said, her third book and second novel, recently published by Bloomsbury USA.
If Paris, He Said were a marriage counseling clinic, it would be out of business within a month. The characters in this novel are not exemplary when it comes to sexual fidelity, but the main female character, Jayne Marks, idealizes monogamy. At least initially.
Along similar lines, if Paris, He Said were a church, it would be the Church of the Passionate Body & Soul, not the Church of Scientology or the Latter Day Saints.
If Paris, He Said were a raincoat, it would be one with many hidden compartments and a sash that comes undone without a whole lot of effort.
If Paris, He Said were to be screened by the members of the MPAA, they would most likely rate it R, though there’s as much discussion of nudity, and what might happen when people are nude, as nudity itself. “Adult situations” (a description from my ‘80s adolescence—do they still use it?)
If Paris, He Said were a family member, it would aspire to be your free-spirited aunt or uncle, the one who left town and lived what seemed from the rest of the family’s vantage point an enviable life of corporeal indulgence.
If Paris, He Said were an ice cream flavor, it would be dark chocolate with sweet dark cherries (because in France, where much of the novel is set, dark chocolate is more widely available and, from what I observed when first visiting as an exchange student many years ago, more respected than milk chocolate—which bothered me at the time, being a milk chocolate loyalist. The antioxidant-dark chocolate craze was still a long ways off.)
Christine Sneed is the author of two novels, Paris, He Said, and Little Known Facts, and a short story collection, Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry. She lives in Evanston, IL, and teaches for the graduate creative writing programs at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. Her website is www.christinesneed.com.