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Eliza Minot:
The Tiny One
Eliza Minot
  The Tiny One  
Eliza Minot    
interview

reading

an excerpt



  You can't help but fall in love with Via Revere, the eight-year-old narrator of Eliza Minot's The Tiny One. Via tells her story with such fresh perspective and charming observation that one marvels at Minot's deft expression of a pint-sized mindset.

Via's mother--Mum--has just been killed in a car accident (an autobiographical theme; Minot's own mother was killed in an accident when the author was seven years old). It is two days post-tragedy, and as the little darling explains, "I want to be able to find something in that day to hold on to like a rope swing, to swing with. Trying to hold on to all that I remember makes my stomach jump--there goes something; here comes another. But if I don't do it, I feel even more scared because I worry that I'm forgetting everything, that I won't know anything. I won't have her. I've got to keep her as long as I can. Because I thought I loved everything, but it was all just her. This is what happened. This was the day before yesterday. This was the day."

In recreating the day, Via pieces together the life and close-knit family history that have preceded the accident. She tells her story through layers upon layers of concentric memories, reenacting her day at school and allowing every thought and event to trigger others. The narrative is peppered with late-'70s pop culture references and the tangential thoughts of a precocious and curious eight-year-old. Via and her mother shared the type of bond that makes life worth living, and as we get to know both mother and child, we empathize completely with their adoration and devotion to one another. Via views life through a refreshing blend of disbelief and enthusiasm, questioning everything, hungry to understand the crazy world in which we dwell.

Eliza Minot is the younger sister of Susan, author of highly-acclaimed novels including Evening and Monkeys. Her debut strikes the perfect balance of beauty, elegance and poignancy without ever veering toward the overly-sentimental. Readers everywhere can be grateful that the world is big enough for another talented Minot.

Eliza visited Bold Type's offices recently; in this feature read a conversation with Minot and an excerpt from The Tiny One, and listen to an audio excerpt from the novel, read by the author.
 
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