My Name Is Lucy Barton was a different kind of book for me, and writing it surprised me. While I hope for all my books to provide the reader with a kind of intimate experience this one seems particularly available for that, I think.
To re-invent the self has always been a terribly American idea, and I was interested in this, and I was also interested in class lines in this country. And so Lucy begins her life in real poverty, as an outcast, and moves through life until she is arguably an upper-middle class woman living in New York City. How much, or how little, she has really been able to escape, is a question for the reader to think about.
It came to me recently that I always write for a reader who “needs” the book at whatever time in their life it arrives. And readers will always—and should—bring their own story to the story they are reading, and so it becomes, essentially, a different book for every reader. I hope you enjoy My Name is Lucy Barton, that it gives you a momentary vision of life perhaps larger than what you had before.