Portland author Monica Drake says she drew on her experience interning at the Oregon Zoo for one of the storylines in her new novel, The Stud Book. She worked on charting the baby elephants’ behavior every 45 seconds. Sarah, one of the book’s main characters, struggles with infertility in her personal life, even as she is surrounded by reproducing animals and zoo patrons who seem to be teeming with offspring.
Drake says the themes that emerge as her characters lives unfold include an implicit questioning of how we decide whether and when to reproduce. The snow leopard for instance, will not reproduce unless there is adequate room to roam and hunt. She says the issues of population growth are at once global and deeply personal — both in real life and for the characters in The Stud Book.
Have you read Clown Girl or Monica Drake’s new novel The Stud Book? What questions do you have for her?