What’s so extraordinary about “Terms of Endearment,” which you get into, is how it does not not tip its hand at all about where it’s going.
My mom said something really interesting which I quote in the book: “Terms of Endearment” is not “Steel Magnolias,” where in the very beginning Julia Roberts has her diabetic attack and you know where it’s going. With “Terms of Endearment,” not only is there no telegraphing of illness, it’s a comedy for almost three-fourths of the movie!
Speaking about your dad, and for me this connects to your book: You mentioned the eulogy for your dad, written by one of his friends, and how it was an endless list of all the things your father loved. It made me think, in a way, that your book is carrying his legacy forward. You are your mother’s son but you are your father’s son, too. Is that something that is there for you?
Thank you for saying that. That’s really meaningful to me. It’s not conscious. I didn’t make the connection between the two things until fairly recently. My husband made a comment that I think about a lot. “You and your brother and your mother are so similar.” I was like, What are you talking about? My brother and I are so different that it’s a running joke with people who know us. My husband said, “You both are so enthusiastic about the things that you love—even if those things are very different—and you want other people to feel that enthusiasm.” When he said that, I started to understand it and I did connect it to the eulogy. I think about that eulogy when I think about my dog, or certain meals I’ve loved, or vacation spots I want to go back to, restaurants, movies, books—things I love so much. It was such a brilliant way of distilling my dad. I don’t think anyone could have written anything more beautiful or perfect. It was a transformative moment for me.
It’s so interesting, all of these connections. You have devoted your life to the thing you loved most when you were eight. How many people wish they could say that?
I’m at a place now where it’s so wonderful to be able to choose the things I want to write about, things that are meaningful to me and hopefully to other people, too.
On May 18, at 7:30 pm EST, Koresky will be doing his official virtual book launch event with Greenlight Bookstore. The event will feature a conversation between Koresky and Mark Harris, author of the current best-seller Mike Nichols: A Life. You can register for the event here.