I’ve Got Questions for Mary Jane White

Editor’s Note: This exchange is part of a series of brief interviews with emerging writers of recent or forthcoming books. If you enjoyed it, please visit other interviews in the I’ve Got Questions feature.

Dragonfly. Toad. Moon. by Mary Jane White
  • What’s the title of your book? Fiction? Nonfiction? Poetry? Who is the publisher and what’s the publication date?

Dragonfly. Toad. Moon.  Poetry.  Press 53. April 9, 2022.

  • In a couple of sentences, what’s the book about? 

These are poems about my son’s recovery from early childhood autism and about my own childhood and other poets’ work that has been important to me.

  • What’s the book’s genre (for fiction and nonfiction) or primary style (for poetry)? 

There are both formal poems and free verse poems.

  • What’s the nicest thing anyone has said about the book so far? 

“This book will help my grandson whose parents just received a new diagnosis on the autism spectrum.”

  • What book or books is yours comparable to or a cross between? [Is your book like Moby Dick or maybe it’s more like Frankenstein meets Peter Pan?]

W.D. Snodgrass’s Heart’s Needle.

  • Why this book? Why now?

My son is now 31, the chief technical officer of an EU start-up in cybersecurity; this book brings hope to families who may be told as I was that their toddler might never speak, work productively or know that anyone loves him or her.

  • Other than writing this book, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?

Trial lawyer trying first-degree murder case to acquittal and business fraud case to a multi-million dollar verdict.

  • What do you want readers to take away from the book?

What it feels like to raise a young child with autism.

  • What food and/or music do you associate with the book? 

Chocolate milk and black olives—the only things my son would eat for years after weaning.

  • What book(s) are you reading currently? 

My Hollywood by Boris Dralyuk, a book of poems.

Mary Jane White

Learn more about Mary Jane on her website.

Follow her on Facebook.

Buy the book from the publisher (Press 53), Amazon, or Bookshop.org.

About the author

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