Saturday, April 28, 2012
May 1, 2012; Sourcebooks Fire
Is he or isn't he? Brigitta's best friend is convinced that Brigitta's new crush, Luke, is actually egotistical teen heartthrob Trent Yves, hiding from his fans in their tiny town. But Brigitta actually likes Luke, whereas Trent is an arrogant jerk. As the two spend the summer together raising orphaned cougar cubs, Brigitta still can't be sure of his true identity. But then again, since her grandparents' death, her father's sudden urge to give away all their possessions and become a shaman, and her own awkward transition from girlhood into a young woman, what can she be sure of?(courtesy of Goodreads)
Character Interview: Mallory
Please welcome Brigitta's older sister Mallory to Alison Can Read! She's been kind enough to answer a few questions about her life and family.
1. Tell us about your senior treehouse project.
I had noticed that some of the younger students at Kwahnesum High School were having a hard time socially. My little sister Brigitta was a freshman at the time (this was a couple of years ago) and had never been to school. She’s so smart and talented, but she was just so isolated. So I really made the Treehouse Club for her. I knew that if others could get to know her in a small group setting, they’d find out they all had a lot in common. And we’d talk about some healthy life choices along the way. And we really do have a cool treehouse.
It didn’t exactly work out the way I’d planned. Brigitta wanted her friend Devon to attend, so I allowed that, even though I had been hoping to explore more women’s issues. I’ve always liked Devon. I even babysat him when he was little. The attendance wasn’t as consistent as I’d have liked, but we did do some excellent stargazing. And I taught them a few songs. Brigitta was learning to play the guitar, so I asked her to lead. I feel it’s important for young teens to have leadership experience.
Sadly, the Treehouse Club had kind of limped to a stop by the time I left for college. I was kind of between a sock and a hard place because Devon seemed to be interested in Brigitta as more than a friend, and her life was taking a new direction. I felt it was best to let the club transition into something else on its own, since I wouldn’t be there to offer my guidance.
2. What attracts you to Webster?
I was afraid I’d gotten off on the wrong leg with Dr. Lampson (Webster) because my first paper really wasn’t up to my usual standard. It was on the neuroscience of dreams. I wanted to chart my own dreams and analyze the cognitive processes behind each one. But I spent too long on my research and the paper was embarrassingly sloppy. Instead of giving me the D I probably deserved, Dr. Lampson invited me to his office to discuss some of my dreams. What was fascinating was that his own dreams paralleled mine in many ways. I started to notice how attractive he was, and then I was afraid he’d notice my noticing. But then he asked me to dinner so we could continue the discussion. And he told me he found me quite beautiful and would like to spend more time with me off campus. I’ve always found men in their twenties to be so immature. Webster is refreshing. He doesn’t beat around the brush. He says what he thinks.
3. What was your first reaction to arriving back home from school and seeing how your family had changed?
I’m ashamed to say I was mad. Really mad. It was a childish response to a natural progression of human development in any family, but I wasn’t approaching it as a scholar. What upset me the most was that Dad, who had taught me to be rational and skeptical of superstition, had apparently had a break with reality. He was out in the woods talking to animals and trying to “enter the spirit world” whatever he thinks that is. He was like a different person. Mom was pretty much the same. Happier, now that Dad was as much off the steep end as she’s always been. Don’t get me wrong; I love my mom, but she believes in fairies. I mean, I was afraid to bring people home because I never knew what she’d say. Dad kept our family stable, until he got like this. And Brigitta was different, too. She was so sad. And she’d gotten on this huge religion kick. She had all these books and statues and candles. That worried me a LOT because our grandparents were really religious and Brigitta spent a lot of time with them before they died. Not only is religion the origin of all wars, it gives people false hope. I don’t want that for Brigitta. I had a book on delusional thinking that I tried to share with her, but she wouldn’t read it. Webster pointed out that they all need intensive therapy, and I agree, but how do you convince your family of something like that?
4. Who's your favorite celebrity?
I’m not sure how to answer that. I’m not really into the cult of celebrity. I don’t have much time for movies or television, though I do watch a little at school. (I’ll confess to an affinity for HOUSE.) It seems people’s time would be better spent doing things other than trying to get famous. Better to be a great mind than a flash in the can.
5. Who's your favorite psychologist?
Karen Horney. She was influential during the first half of the 20th century. I especially like her idea of “womb envy” which she developed in response to Sigmund Freud’s proposal that women were jealous of a certain appendage possessed only by men (not sure what the rating is on this blog, so I’ll try to be delicate.) She said, "Is not the tremendous strength in men of the impulse to creative work in every field precisely due to their feeling of playing a relatively small part in the creation of living beings, which constantly impels them to an overcompensation in achievement?"
Posted by Alison Can Read at 11:08 AM