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Book to film - Meg Wolitzer on The Wife

28 January 2019

‘I go through a very intense process when I'm writing a book, so the idea of repeating that for a film seems exhausting. You want to have a point where you are really done with something, you know? Much better to let other people do it and then occasionally you show up and eat their food on set or come to their gala premieres and, you know, excitedly meet everyone. For me, that's a good role...

I wrote it (The Wife) four years ago when feminism was definitely a moving thing that had a lot of people talking about it but by the time the book came out we were in a very different moment and feminism was front and centre. But a novel isn't just tracking what's happening in the moment. It's trying to peek around the bend and also look backwards, at why we got to this point and why we think and feel the way we do. An up-to-date novel almost seems like an oxymoron to me. You want a book to be able to last and to be reflective. As Mary Gordon said to me once, the novel is the opposite of a tweet.'

Meg Wolitzer, author of The Wife, The Uncoupling and The Female Persuasion, in the Observer