Elena Bowes

New York-London design & culture writer of a certain vintage looking for meaning and wholeness in life

Q&A with Adrienne Brodeur, author of Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover and Me

May 26th, 2022
Books & Authors

Adrienne Brodeur’s unputdownable memoir, Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover and Me is not only an amazing story but beautifully written. And it’s told with great empathy by its author. When Brodeur was 14 years old, her married mother, a talented, magnetic narcissist named Malabar woke the teenage Brodeur at midnight to tell her …

“Ben Souther just kissed me….”

As Brodeur said, she went to sleep a daughter and woke up her mother’s confidante and collaborator, helping orchestrate a monumental affair between her mother and her mother’s husband’s best friend.

“What I’ve learned from the best memoirs,” wrote Brodeur, who is also Executive Director of Aspen Words,” is the life you’ve lived matters less than your consciousness about that life.”

If you like this memoir as much as I did, then you’ll be thrilled to hear that Brodeur has signed a deal with Netflix with Chernin Entertainment producing, Nick Hornby writing the script, and Deniz Gamze Erguven slated to direct. Below are my questions for Brodeur.

I love this quote from author Vivian Gornick that you’ve referred to in past interviews- “In order for the drama to deepen you must show the loneliness of the monster and the cunning of the victim.”  Why do you think your mother was so lonely? And you, so cunning?

That quote served as a constant reminder that I did not want “Wild Game” to be a black and white, “Mommie Dearest”-style memoir, portraying one character as the monster and the other as the innocent. I wanted to show our relationship with all its complexities – full of the beauty and ugliness inherent in any close relationship. The goal was to tell the truth.

What was the most difficult part of writing this book? 

All of it and none of it. Because I had decades to process the events of my childhood, when I finally understood how I wanted to tell my story – straightforward as a memoir — the writing came easily. I am lucky in that I find the act of writing, of finding the rights words to express my thoughts and feelings, deeply satisfying.

The most fun?

I had the most fun writing the cooking scenes, which reminded me of how dynamic and creative my mother was in the kitchen, where she most came to life.

The rest of our Q&A can be read here, on UK site 26.

May, 2022

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