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Michelle Hart Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

We Do What We Do in the Dark (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Michelle Hart is a published author.

She has written fiction that has been featured in Electric Literature and Joyland. Hart has also written articles that have been published in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and The New Yorker Online.

Michelle Hart has also been an Assistant Book Editors at Oprah Daily, the Oprah Magazine, and O. She attended Rutgers-Newark, graduating with her MFA.

Her first fictional novel is titled We Do What We Do in the Dark and it was published in 2022. She has spoken about the book to various outlets and talks about many of the themes in the book, what inspired to write it, and about the main character, Mallory. The story revolves around Mallory, a young woman who is attracted to a woman after the passing of her mother.

The author talks about how the novel delves into the affair and the ethical and emotional consequences of it, which was tricky since the book was coming out in the post-Me Too movement but also the timeline of the story goes through the start of the moment. Hart wanted to acknowledge this movement but not have the larger context for the culture take over the story. She says that she’s wary of stories that are didactic with clear morals. She notes what her mentor Tayari Jones told her about stories that should be about people and problems instead of problems and their people, with the focus being on the character and who they are instead of moving them so that a larger point can be proven.

Much of the book centered around how Mallory would would feel and think about the relationship with the woman she has not yet met. She’s attracted to the woman, and perhaps part of that is the ability of this woman to shape her life since she is older and at a different place in life. However, Hart is not certain that her protagonist in the beginning is aware that the affair would qualify as a relationship between a student and a teacher.

Hart also thinks that when it comes to defining the relationship externally, Mallory would resist this as well as it’s naturally her character. She’s also felt alone for a lot of her life, the type of loneliness that makes one stick to their own definition of things, even being queer. The woman she is interested in is similar, and tells Mal at one time that she knows Mallory won’t expose the affair because then it wouldn’t be theirs anymore.

While the characters share an attraction to each other, they also crave being alone. Solitude provides them with safety, with being able to keep others and the world at a distance. It gives them a chance to choose being alone instead of being alone. The affair also is attractive to Mallory because things are happening on their own terms, and its secrecy means no one will spoil it with their own judgment or thoughts. Mallory thinks that she’s setting the parameters of the relationship, but the woman really is because they’re always meeting when she wants to and the woman’s status in life means that they can’t have a future. The author recounts that Mallory is deferring to what the woman wants to do, but also doesn’t have to define it on her own and doesn’t have to bother with definitions in the relationship.

Through the story, Hart shows that the woman go through desire, and their true meetings take place in the shadows. The author also doesn’t like using flashbacks when it comes to fiction, saying that they often interrupt the present narrative’s propulsion and are deployed too often to add weight to a scene. Hart prefers to use more solid ways to show that a scene is meaningful. She does admit, however, that after saying all of this there is quite a big flashback in this novel that does exactly what she criticized them for doing.

Hart has also spoken about how working on a book for so long, a decade to finish this novel, turned her into a different writer. She thinks that readers could detect a change in voice if they focused on each of the three sections’ prose. The first part focused on the affair, the second on the childhood era, and the third section features Mallory graduating from college and having a more free voice to go with it. Hart says that taking a long time to write the book ended up being a gift because time became part of the plot and the tonal shifts became a big part of the voice.

We Do What We Do in the Dark was published in 2022. It is the story of a young woman who ends up having an affair with a married older woman that could change the course of her life as she knows it.

Mallory is the main character in this story, in college as a freshman, and grappling with the passing of her mother recently. It’s then that she sees the woman, glimpsing her initially at the gym at the university. From the first moment that she saw her, she was captivated.

The two soon meet thanks to the electricity between them and the wounds they share from the past. It is not too long before the two begin a secret affair and sleeping together. The woman seems to be someone she both wants and wants to be, as she is smart, successful, self-possessed, and more. Mallory wants her, but also wants who she feels like when they are together.

Mallory eventually pulls back from the world, bringing a sense of loneliness that she’s carried with her since she was a child and may carry with her after the affair. Now grown up, Mallory has to choose whether she wants to be isolated or go into the world, facing the woman’s meaning to her as well as how she has influenced her. Mal’s life ends up being changed by experience loss and then love. Will she find out who she is through her experiences with this woman, or will things change in a way that she was not expecting? Read this debut novel from Michelle Hart to find out!

Book Series In Order » Authors » Michelle Hart

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