In Memory of Central Park an Interview with author Queenelle Minet

Queenelle Minet

Queenelle Minet

Queenelle Minet

is an author, actress, activist and licensed psychotherapist in Marin County, California. Born in York, Pennsylvania, Minet attended Sarah Lawrence College and earned her B.A. from Penn State University in English Literature, and later earned an M.A. in theater from Northwestern University. She earned a second M.A. in psychology in 1982 from Antioch University West.

Minet’s debut novel is called In Memory of Central Park and has already won several awards since its release last year. For the LA Books Examiner, it’s easy to see why.
 
In Memory of Central Park takes place in New York City in 2050, but this is not the same city we know today. New York, which has seceded from the US, is ruled by the Liberty Party and its repressive henchmen, The Patriots. Due to population pressures, every street, park, and playground has been built over (including Central Park, which is just a memory as the story begins). In fact, all of the buildings in New York are now interconnected by a maze of stairways and passageways into a single, massive structure. To further protect the citizens of New York from a resurgence of terrorist attacks and a rising ocean, Manhattan is now encased in an enormous terror-proof cement shell, and no one is allowed to travel in or out.
 
But it’s within this dark world that the real story begins – a powerful story of human emotion and personal relationships that, thanks to some exquisite writing, outshines the darkly symbolic setting. The protagonist, Noah, a psychotherapist, falls in love with his brother’s wife, Margaret. And when the people of New York begin to mysteriously die (and the Liberty Party covers it up), these two lovers will have to navigate their forbidden relationship in this repressive and politically charged regime.
 
What’s really interesting about In Memory of Central Park is how it came about. Started in 1989 by Minet’s late husband, Dr. Aron Spilken, the book was never finished before he passed away in 2003. Minet, who always loved the book and its ideas, took it, restructured it, and finished it in the remarkable spirit of love and collaboration that clearly reflects their special relationship – a project that also helped Minet work through the grief of her great loss. Minet says the book is about 50/50 now, half her work and half her husband’s, but the collaboration is seamless and you really won’t be able to tell who wrote what parts.
 
It’s important to note that In Memory of Central Park is not really a Science Fiction novel. Despite its futuristic Sci-Fi setting, it’s more a literary novel that doesn’t quite fit into any one category. Readers and critics have compared this work to Orwell’s 1984, and I think you’ll find that the fine writing, satire, symbolism, and humor in the book all add up to make these claims quite legitimate.
 
In Memory of Central Park by Queenelle Minet is available now at Amazon.com or at her website, www.centralparknovel.com, where you can learn more about Minet and her work.
 
I had the opportunity to meet Queenelle Minet recently and ask her a few questions about her life and her book. Please take a few more minutes to check out this informative interview.
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