Indieview authorIndieView with Lynne Kaufman, author of Divine Madness |

IndieView with Lynne Kaufman, author of Divine Madness |


I am intrigued by what is a deal breaker in a marriage.

Lynne Kaufman – 30 May 2022

The Back Flap

Cal. . . wants to move back in with me into our old apartment on 67th Street across from Central Park. It’s where we lived for most of the twenty-one years of our marriage until he left me for Caroline. It’s where I’ve lived for the past seven years without Cal. ” Cal is purportedly Robert Lowell, the sixth Poet Laureate of the United States, and the speaker, “Lizzie,” is Elizabeth Hardwick, a writer and critic whose true-life partnership with Lowell was marked by his mental illness and desertion. Yet award-winning playwright Lynne Kaufman’s spare, poetic novel is far deeper — and more disturbing — than a harrowing account of a famously unhappy marriage. As the fictional “manuscript” progresses, Lizzie’s persona of humiliated, martyred wife gradually dissolves into a rich labyrinth of references-from her friendships with Mary McCarthy and Hannah Arendt to her memories of the Civil Rights movement and her Southern childhood, from the Holocaust to King Lear-that may (or may not) illuminate the complex dynamics of attachment. In this enigmatic deconstruction of an age-old tragedy, Kaufman has composed an intriguing and intense elegy that marks the shadowlands where fiction, reality, and writerly personas converge.

About the book

What is the book about?

It is a fictional diary written by Elizabeth Hardwick, writer and critic, about her marriage to famous poet, Robert Lowell, who betrayed her in both life and literature. After divorcing her and leaving their young daughter, seven years ago, he wants to come back. She still loves him. What should she do?

When did you start writing the book?

Two years ago after writing a play about Sylvia Plath who was enrolled in a poetry workshop taught by Robert Lowell.

How long did it take you to write it?

I first wrote it as a one act play two years ago, then realized I had much more to say.

Where did you get the idea from?

I am intrigued by what is a deal breaker in a marriage.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

The structure had a mind of its own. Not linear narrative but more stream of consciousness. The voice of Elizabeth came easily. I intuitively knew who she was.

Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?

They are real historical people filtered through my own persona.

We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?

I adore Chekhov. He’s my literary God. He writes the truth. All those missed moments. Those unfulfilled desires. Love Tennessee Williams, as well… universal longings and heartache… Give me emotion!

About Writing

Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?

I enjoy research. I immerse myself in the time, place, bios of my characters (generally real people) Then I find a pivotal moment of crisis that results in change. My characters are vessels for my questions, concerns. I take Shakespeare’s tragedies for inspiration

Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences.

I take notes from my research and outline briefly.

Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?

Edit as I go. Then a final edit. Rarely make big changes.

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?

No. Silent room. Blank wall.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

Currently I do not have an agent.

What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher?

The Indie publisher was recommended by friend.

Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

I hadn’t written a novel in ten years.

Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?

My publisher did it and I love it.

Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?

I hired a wonderful marketing person. Julia Drake of Wildbound.

Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?

Find someone whom you respect and loves your work.

About You

Where did you grow up?

The Bronx, NYC

Where do you live now?

San Francisco.

What would you like readers to know about you?

I will never stop writing. It’s who I am.

What are you working on now?

A new play about a rabbi and a terrorist.

End of Interview:

For more from Lynne Kaufman visit her website.

Get your copy of Divine Madness from Amazon US or Amazon UK.



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