An intimate crowd gathered at Borders in Birmingham Wednesday night to hear author Laura Kasischke read from her new novel In a Perfect World. Kasischke, a creative writing teacher at the University of Michigan, was appearing for the second time since the book’s release just over one week ago.
In a Perfect World is based on character Jiselle, a young flight attendant contending with a new marriage, stepchildren and a bizarre pandemic that threatens both her new family and the world at large. The Phoenix flu of the novel ironically echoes that of several recent pandemic outbreaks; the most recent being the H1N1 (swine) influenza. However, Kasischke had completed her writing of the book prior to the Swine flu wave and chalks it up to bizarre coincidence.
Ms. Kasischke said this latest work took her about two years to write and had many incarnations. She relies on her husband to read her final drafts but doesn’t bother him to micromanage each chapter she writes. When it comes to making appearances, Kasischke says she appreciates the objectivity of her readers and is grateful for their suggestions.
Being a mother and teacher leaves Kasischke little room for her own creative writing which she tries to get to every day. Though she squeezes writing in whenever she can, she admits she is forced to write “even if she is not inspired”. After amassing her work, she then looks for the theme and “carves out the story”.
No doubt Kasischke is a fine whittler, she now has seven collections of poetry and seven novels published in her name. Kasischke will continue her Midwest tour for In a Perfect World over the next several months making several more appearances in Michigan. Check the Borders website and your local libraries for upcoming dates and times.
-Post by Megan Shaffer