Shelf Life

Shelf Life: 'Little Known Facts'

2013-06-23T00:00:00Z Shelf Life: 'Little Known Facts'Jane Ammeson Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
June 23, 2013 12:00 am  • 

A movie buff while growing up, Christine Sneed was a always interested in the culture of movie stars. In time, she became even more intrigued with the people living in the shadows of famous people, a subject she explores in her first novel "Little Known Facts" (Bloomsbury 2013, $25).

“I wondered how do these people, who are in ways left behind, create their own lives,” says Sneed, who teaches creative writing for Northwestern University's graduate writing program as well as for Pacific University's low-residency Masters of Fine Arts program.

Sneed, winner of the 2009 Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist for her short story collection "Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry", wrote what she originally thought would be a short story about the handsome, successful and unfaithful Renn Ivins (think Harrison Ford or George Clooney if he had children), his ex-wife and their two grown children – Anna, a medical school student and Will, who is drifting along in life.

“I wrote what would become the first chapter and then a few months later I went back to it because I was still thinking about the characters,” said Sneed, who lives in Evanston. “I wanted it to be unified and I think it was then that I knew it would be a novel.”

It was only after her novel was complete and sent to a friend who worked in Hollywood that Sneed heard the insider joke of what it’s like to live outside of fame’s bright lights.

“My friend told me that the joke on the set was that if you had been bad in a past life, you’d be re-invented as a star’s child,” said Sneed, noting that it isn’t just movie stars children who live in shadows but those of other extremely successful or famous people as well.

"Little Known Facts" is available online or at booksellers everywhere.

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