OC Bookly Interview: Victoria Patterson
|Victoria Patterson, author and critic|
In a challenge to all that is decent, her novel This Vacant Paradise (2011) and short story collection Drift (2009), empathize with the down and out and, somehow, even the up and out.
Not that they deserve it. Probably my own favorite of the interconnected stories in Drift is about an alienated young woman whose naivete pokes through the bubble-life that's been given her.
|Her brilliant short story collection|
Then there's the brain-damaged skateboard kid. Oh, and the waitress working at a restaurant where it's hard to tell who's stealing from whom. Hell, I guess I like 'em all. The cast of characters in Patterson's work includes loser heir, lonely heiress, desperate waitresses, divorced trophy wives and pitch-perfectly rendered dowagers. And, of course, you'll recognize the locale.
Patterson is also a whip-smart critic and excellent teacher. She wrote recently at Tom Lutz's reliably brilliant Los Angeles Review of Books, where she gave Jonathan Franzen a spanking for his recent "appreciation" of Edith Wharton in the New Yorker.
|Likes to party, South County-style|
OCB: How much guidance in your writing do you receive from your famous father, bestselling crime and spy novelist (and former chair of Common Cause), Richard North Patterson?
VP: Not as much, Mr. Bib, as I do from my estranged cousin, the bestselling everything writer James Patterson.
I disagree, Mr. Bib. Authors should be ranked and presented in order of weight, body-fat ratio, and hotness factor.
Do you know where the decapitated head of Corona del Mar's iconic restaurant totem The Quiet Woman is? Has it (or she) perhaps started her own restaurant, and what might be a good name for it?
Please do elaborate on just how brilliant you are, Victoria Patterson, as regards your invention of the totally wickedly beautiful character of a brain-damaged OC teenage skateboarder named, yes, John Wayne.
Stop it some more, Mr. Bib. Stop it some more. John Wayne loves you, as do I.
I'm guessing you were a cheerleader in high school?
Ah yes, Mr. Bib. Glory days. Sadly, I had to give up the head cheerleader position junior year, as I was overwhelmed with my debutante ball arrangements.