Author Stories Podcast Episode 816 | Lee Matalone Interview

Today’s author interview guest is Lee Matlone, author of Home Making: A Novel.

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“An intricate exploration of family and home, of mother and child, of friends, of women and written with both precision and style.”—Weike Wang, author of Chemistry

From a talented, powerful new voice in fiction comes a stunning novel about the intersection of three lives coming to grips with identity, family legacy, and what it means to make a house a true home.

Cybil is a war child—the result of a brief affair between a young Japanese woman and a French soldier—who at a young age is transplanted to Tucson, Arizona, and raised by an American officer and his rigid wife. After a rebellious adolescence, she grows up to become a successful ob-gyn.

Chloe, Cybil’s daughter, is adrift in an empty house in the hills of Virginia. Her marriage has fallen apart, and her estranged husband is dying of cancer. Room by room, Chloe makes her new house into a home, grappling always with the real and imagined boundaries that limit her as a single, childless woman in contemporary America.

Beau, Chloe’s closest friend, is in love with a man he’s only met on the internet, who lives across the country. Shepherding Chloe through her grief, he is often called back to his loud, humid, chaotic childhood in Southwest Louisiana, where he first reckoned with the intricate ties between queerness, loneliness, and place.

Through each of these characters Matalone weaves a moving, beautiful narrative of home, identity, and belonging. Home Making is a somber, yet hopeful, ode to the stories we tell ourselves in order to make a family.

Lee Matalone writes about death and loss for The Rumpus. Her fiction has been featured in the The Offing, Denver Quarterly Review, Hobart, Joyland, Jellyfish Review, Nat. Brut, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, the Austin Review, and Cosmonauts Avenue. Her essays and reporting have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, the National, and Flavorwire, among others. She has been a contributor to the Tin House, Bread Loaf, and Sewanee writers conferences, and has been awarded residencies at the Arctic Circle program, Pocoapoco and Art Farm. Home Making is her first novel. She lives in South Carolina where she is a lecturer at Clemson University.

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