Since Cheryl Pearl Sucher married a New Zealander in 1999, she has been living between two worlds: the Greater New York City area and the Hawkes Bay of New Zealand, two places that are about as far apart on the planet as one can travel. Though she has often felt torn between her very different lives, she has also felt that her life experience and artistic vision has been enhanced by living as both an insider and an outsider in such different but extraordinary places. This interview series is born out her experience between these worlds, and as a published fiction writer, bookseller, journalist, memoirist and avocational musical traveler.
In this edition, Cheryl talks to Rachel Cline about The Question Authority, a timely and moving novel about what happens when childhood best friends confront the damage done by the teacher who molested them both. Meet Nora Buchbinder—formerly rich and now broke and newly employed at the NYC Education Department. She would be the last woman in Brooklyn to claim #MeToo, but when a work assignment reunites her with her childhood best friend, Beth, she finds herself in a hall of mirrors. Was their eight grade teacher Beth's lover or her rapist? What should justice look like after so much time has passed? And what, if anything, can Nora do now? In this powerful and emotionally wrenching story, Nora and Beth's memories, and those of their classmates, their former teacher, and members of his family are revealed. These memories shed light on the way we manage and absorb unbearable behavior and how one experience can influence a whole life.
Rachel Cline is the author of the novels What to Keep and My Liar (both from Random House). She has written for the New York Times, New York, More SELF and Tin House and is a produced screen and television writer. She was a screenwriting instructor at University of Souther California and has taught fiction at New York University, Eugene Lang College and Sarah Lawrence College. She has been a resident of Yaddo, a fellow of Sewanee, and a Girls Write Now mentor. She lives in Brooklyn Heights, a few blocks from where she grew up.
Cheryl Pearl Sucher is an award-winning journalist, essayist, reviewer and fiction writer who lives between Cranbury, New Jersey and the Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Ka Hua E Wha: The Southernmost Jewish Community in the World, her contribution to Jewish Lives in New Zealand was published in 2012 by Random House NZ and she has been a frequent contributing book reviewer and feature writer for The NZ Sunday Star-Times and The NZ Listener. Her first novel, The Rescue of Memory, was published by Scribner so long ago she has forgotten the exact date and an excerpt from her second novel in progress, Lost Cities, was published in 2013 in Printer's Row, the Chicago Tribune's literary supplement. From July 2013 to April 2016 she was one of four presenter/interviewers for New Zealand Hawkes Bay Television's half hour interview program CHATROOM.