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Swan Huntley -- We could be Beautiful -- Another upcoming Skype Interview


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Students and authors discussing their works. What else when you study American literature?

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Swan Huntley -- We could be Beautiful -- Another upcoming Skype Interview

  2. 2. Introduction by Swan Huntley Bonjour! Thanks so much for inviting me into your classroom. I hope you enjoyed reading the excerpt. A lot of people hate Catherine at first. I wonder if you felt that way if you read the whole novel. I look forward to hearing more about your thoughts when we meet on the Internet!
  3. 3. Swan Huntley Swan Huntley earned her MFA at Columbia University. She's received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Ragdale Foundation. She lives in California and Hawaii. We could be Beautiful: A spellbinding psychological debut novel, Swan Huntley’s We Could Be Beautiful is the story of a wealthy woman who has everything—and yet can trust no one. Catherine West has spent her entire life surrounded by beautiful things. She owns an immaculate Manhattan apartment, she collects fine art, she buys exquisite handbags and clothing, and she constantly redecorates her home. And yet, despite all this, she still feels empty. She sees her personal trainer, she gets weekly massages, and occasionally she visits her mother and sister on the Upper East Side, but after two broken engagements and boyfriends who wanted only her money, she is haunted by the fear that she’ll never have a family of her own.
  4. 4. Swan Huntley One night, at an art opening, Catherine meets William Stockton, a handsome man who shares her impeccable taste and love of beauty. He is educated, elegant, and even has a personal connection—his parents and Catherine’s parents were friends years ago. But as he and Catherine grow closer, she begins to encounter strange signs, and her mother, Elizabeth (now suffering from Alzheimer’s), seems to have only bad memories of William as a boy. In Elizabeth’s old diary she finds an unnerving letter from a former nanny that cryptically reads: “We cannot trust anyone…” Is William lying about his past? And if so, is Catherine willing to sacrifice their beautiful life in order to find the truth? Featuring a fascinating heroine who longs for answers but is blinded by her own privilege, We Could Be Beautiful is a glittering, seductive, utterly surprising story of love, money, greed, and family.
  5. 5.  Analyze the excerpt.  Try and define the genre of this novel.  What are the major elements of this genre?  Can you find them in this excerpt from We could be Beautiful?  Jot down your notes on this document. Excerpt
  6. 6. Reminder: focus on…  Literary devices,  Themes, motifs,  Genre,  Tone, diction, syntax,  Allusions,  Voice,  Imagery and  Symbolism… 6
  7. 7. Skype Interview Prepare questions about  Swan Huntley,  Her influences,  Her creative process,  The excerpt you have studied…  Be creative, original and personal!  Share your questions and ideas on this Google doc. 7
  8. 8. Bibliography    We Could be Beautiful  Swan’s blog  Review  GoodReads  Article  New York Times Article  Article  Our Google doc.  Online tools (Final project)  The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms, second ed. (Murfin, Ray) / Literary terms / Meter  Devices 8