When doctors told author Tucker she needed to have brain surgery to remove a cerebral aneurysm, she told her concerned family that yes, she would follow doctor's orders; however, she had a novel to finish first. "It was important for me to go ahead and finish the book, to see it through, especially because I wasn't sure if it would be my last book,'' said Tucker, during a recent phone conversation from her home in Pennsylvania. During the writing process, Tucker found herself surprised over the path the novel, The Winters in Bloom, which was released in September, took. It concerns two overprotective parents whose young son disappears from the back yard, an apparent victim of kidnapping. "I found myself becoming increasingly concerned with leaving a statement on the beauty of life,'' she said. "I became more optimistic while writing the book, and the name even changed. Originally the title was The House of Doubt.''
What's on your nightstand?
I've just started a new book, Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos, and Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser.
Is this a reread of Sister Carrie?
I read it in graduate school a zillion years ago, but I think it is really topical right now, about the world, poverty. It is so relevant for today. And then I always keep a children's book by my nightstand. It's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. It's a kids' book so you can read it in an hour and a half, but it's not just for kids. I think Kate is a poet in her soul, and the meaning of the book is gorgeous.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer