Amy Sohn is doing her best to make Brooklyn just as glam and fascinating as that borough on the other side of the bridge. Her new novel Prospect Park West: A Novel tells the tale of a group of sexy and sexless moms trying to fight boredom and fend off the loss of self that can result from motherhood. It's juicy, gossipy and addictive. I wanted to see how Amy's quick mind works...
I am holding your responsible for stealing some precious hours of sleep...this book is so juicy. Are you getting this reaction from a lot of moms? Yes! You are the third or fourth mom to tell me she kept sneaking out of the bed to read it, or telling her hair colorist not to talk to her because she had to read. I am glad the book is a page-turner. I love those kinds of books myself, although I didn't set out consciously to make this one of them.
What do you think make Brooklyn so darn interesting? Brooklyn is so many things to so many different people, and it's changing. For some it's synonymous with grit, for others it's now a
destination place to live and they have no idea about the history of Brooklyn or of Park Slope during the 60s/70s, when it was a very different type of place. In Park Slope in particular we have a
strange mix of leftist lactivista hippie moms, high-powered attorneys, bankers, teachers, social workers, gays and lesbians, and adamantly childless singles. We're all living on the same streets with each other but sadly, we tend to stick to our own. I wish there were a place where all these different types could get into it more but so far the only one I can think of is probably various dog runs (and
those are of no interest to non-dog-owners).
What is you shift at the PSFC (we are both member of the Park Slope Food Coop--I write for the Gazette)? I work checkout. Can't really stand it but can't find anything I'd like doing more. We owe two shifts and you've just reminded me now that I need to do a makeup soon. It feels like swimming upstream with these makeups, especially after the summer.
Do you have kids?My daughter is four years old and unlike me was actually born in Brooklyn and not just raised here. I was born at Roosevelt but grew up in Brooklyn Heights. I've never lived anywhere but brownstone Brooklyn except for college.
There is obviously a blend of fact and fiction in this novel, who is your favorite current celeb mom? My favorite celeb mom is probably Kate Hudson. She seems to have a good sense of humor about it all. And she has a boy, which automatically makes a mother tough.
I consider this Mommy Escape Lit...where do your picture your readers devouring your prose?
In bed, on a beach, in the playground instead of hovering around their kids, at cafes sneaking off to get some time alone. And I've seen women reading it on the B71, my favorite bus. I'm also told a lot of
people have been reading it on the subway, which is very flattering. One woman told me she bought the book after seeing so many people reading it on the train.
You've got a wicked wit...are you this funny and wry in person?I try, but I am probably funnier in print because I can revise. When I say something funny my husband always tells me to write it down buthalf the time I forget and it's a shame.
Favorite neighborhood hangout?I could spend hours in al di la wine bar, surrounded by good friends.