When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief she’ll never have to tell them that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.
But that relief soon turns to heartbreak, as Cam is forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and not making waves, and Cam becomes an expert at this—especially at avoiding any questions about her sexuality.
Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. To Cam’s surprise, she and Coley become best friends—while Cam secretly dreams of something more. Just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, her secret is exposed. Ultrareligious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to “fix” her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self—even if she’s not quite sure who that is.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning and unforgettable literary debut about discovering who you are and finding the courage to live life according to your own rules. (courtesy of Goodreads)
Please welcome Jane Fonda of The Miseducation of Cameron Post to Alison Can Read!
1. What were the first things you thought about Adam and Cameron?
The very first thing I noticed about Adam was his astounding physical beauty. Really. I think the word I might use is luminous. Adam has luminous physical beauty of the androgynous variety. Sometimes he appears very masculine, other times more feminine, but most of the time its just this incredibly luminous combination of the two. So, given that his beauty is the first thing I noticed, the first thing I actually thought about him was probably, “Woah, this cat is astoundingly beautiful.” Followed quickly by, “I hope that doesn’t make him a total asshole.”
The very first thing I noticed about Cam was how uncomfortable she looked. I mean, she and her Aunt Ruth were just pulling up to the parking lot and I was watching them through the windshield, and once I officially met Ruth I better understood Cam’s discomfort--they had just traveled most of the way across the state of Montana together in a car, after all, and that would have made me pretty uncomfortable, too. Also, Cam wasn’t any too happy about actually coming to Promise, and I could read that all over her. But I could also tell, even in our first interaction, that I was going to like her. She wasn’t stuck up. She wasn’t an idiot. And, best of all, I sensed early on just how little value she put in a place like God’s Promise. That was important. I also thought, even right off the bat, that she seemed maybe a little shellshocked. The specifics of all of that—the business with Coley and everything—took awhile to get at. Cam’s a real pro at getting you to drop subjects she’s not interested in talking about. It’s a kind of gift, I guess.
2. If you met the real Jane Fonda, what would you ask her?
Geeze: what wouldn’t I ask her? For sure I’d want to know all about working with Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin 9-5. I mean, Dolly Parton AND Lily Tomlin: amazing! And that movie is so funny, their scenes together are all so well done, especially the pot smoking scene (or the “Maui-wowee” smoking scene, to quote the movie). But, since she’d probably get annoyed pretty fast that I could only reference one movie out of so many in her career, I’d also ask her these questions.
1. Tell me about working with Katharine Hepburn in On Golden Pond. What was she like on set?
2. If you had it to do over again would you still launch your line of aerobics videos?
3. I was named after you, sort of, mostly. What do you make of that?
3. Describe an instance where you drove God’s Promise counselor Lydia crazy during a session - group or individual?
The unfortunate thing about Lydia—if you’re actively trying to get a rise out of her, anyway—is that she almost never takes the bait. She just won’t do it. She can be rather annoyingly, persistently, unflappable. I tried all sorts of things in one on one sessions with her. I’d talk about Pat and Candace—a lesbian couple from back on the commune in Idaho—and how strong a relationship they had, what an amazing couple they were, and she’d just ask me to stop sharing details, or she’d twist what I’d said into my own inability to understand and recognize truly “Godly romantic relationships” because of my “same-sex-attraction- disorder.” Lydia was however, somewhat easily bothered (for Lydia) by anything to do with my prosthesis, especially if it made noise when I walked or if I was touching it at its socket or whatever. So sometimes I would do that, just to watch her inwardly shudder a bit and try to control that or pretend like it wasn’t happening. But I didn’t want her, of course—for reasons you already know about—to consider my leg all too carefully, given what was hidden there, so I didn’t call her attention to it with much frequency.
4. If you weren't at Promise, what would you be doing?
Traveling, indubitably. Taking many photographs along the way. Meeting people, hearing their stories. Hanging out, hooking up, breaking up, forgetting myself in a completely different way than you do at God’s Promise. Cooking recipes that don’t call for cream of mushroom or celery or chicken soup (and that don’t have to feed 20+). Dancing. Drinking. Smoking. Gardening. Cultivating. Making art. Making friends. Making enemies. Making my way in the world. Learning to write in calligraphy. Learning to use a printing press. Learning to tie more knots than I know now. Oooh: maybe learning to sail. Falling in and out of love and repeat and repeat and repeat.
5. Name one instance (aside from being an excellent pot holder) where having a prosthetic leg has come in handy.
Hahahaha—pot holder. Very funny. That’s an excellent double entendre if ever I’ve come across one. Well, this leg has given me a very nuanced appreciation of Flannery O’Connor’s wonderful short story “Good Country People.” How’s that? (If you’ve not yet read that story maybe now you will). Also, I think it’s actually made me more sure of myself and my own strength. You might think it would make me less sure, but I’d say it actually works in the opposite way most of the time.
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