The San Francisco Chronicle has a profile on Ayelet Waldman, who’s hoping to move from mystery to literary fiction with her new novel, Daughter’s Keeper. The article makes the inevitable Chabon references, but also mentions Waldman’s birth in Israel, her upbringing in the U.S, the years she spent in a kibbutz, etc. Of the Middle-East mess, she jokingly suggests:
“Green cards, green cards for all. The Palestinians and Israelis will open air- conditioning companies together in Los Angeles, and we will have an end to war.”
The idea for Daughter’s Keeper came to Waldman a few years ago, when she was working as an attorney in OC:
Waldman was defending a young man from Honduras named Felipe, just 20 years old and borderline retarded, who was mixed up in a methamphetamine deal.
“He’d gotten involved with a confidential informant who was a Mariel Cuban who had been found to be psychotic by the American physician who evaluated him when he came over on the boat-lift,” says Waldman, breathlessly. Arrested for dealing cocaine in the United States, he parlayed that into a career as a confidential informant.
“This is too much for fiction,” she says, “but he was also a Santeria priest. So people would come to him and say, ‘My uncle is dying of cancer, can you help us?’ And he would say, ‘OK, sacrifice this chicken, do this methamphetamine deal and I’ll cure your uncle.’ And then they’d get arrested, because he was an informer.”
You can also visit Ayelet Waldman’s site.