Here’s an excerpt: “Titles are so difficult. When my agent started shopping the novel, it went out with the title Nobody’s Daughter–because of Ether and her father’s relationship. But then I found out Courtney Love’s comeback album had that same name (and a song with that title). Although her comeback album was years and years in hiatus, it finally did come out, and I didn’t want to have a book with the same title. So I went on a title hunt. I started reading even more poetry and I’d listen intently to song lyrics, hoping to be struck.
One evening, I read a portion of a poem by James Wright:
Be glad of the green wall
You climbed across one day,
When winter stung with ice
That vacant paradise
So I thought about it, thought about it some more and some more, and finally shared t with a few people. That Vacant Paradise…The Vacant Paradise…Vacant Paradise? Hmmm…This Vacant Paradise. That’s it. I hope by the time the reader finishes, he or she will understand the title in a more profound way.”
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