Win’s Acronym & a Few Notes on My Book Tour

I’ve been on book tour for The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and indeed, I’m still on book tour! Come see me at an event if you have an evening.

Many amazing things have happened to me on this book tour, and when I have a moment to catch my breath, I plan to write about a few of them. I think of the many babies in baskets I have encountered (and the one cat in a basket), the spectacular islands of Washington, the Fikry-reading Sasquatch in Anacortes, etc., etc. I have bought more books than I will be able to read in my lifetime, been stuffed with pie, lefse, cupcakes, Orca-shaped cookies, and love, seen numerous friends, chatted with booksellers of every taste and constitution (quite a few A.J. Fikrys, as is probably to be expected), met readers ranging in age from toddlers to 80+,  and yes, visited twenty or thirty bookstores, each delightful in her own way. (I do not know that I will ever tire of visiting a new bookstore.) And the tour is not quite half finished!

However, the reason I write you tonight is because of an event I did earlier this week at Books Inc. in Alameda, CA. A reader handed me a letter along with a bar of admirably dark chocolate. The letter concerns the Anya Balanchine books, and it answers a question that many of you have been asking me for months (and that I have promised to answer for months): namely, what DOES Win’s acronym mean in In the Age of Love and Chocolate? She was VERY close — all but three words. My corrections are in black ink. 

Re: Conversations with Other Women

What does the title Conversations with Other Women mean?

It refers to THE WOMAN’s line of dialogue that she has “no interest in other women.” It is the idea that THE MAN is talking to a version of THE WOMAN from the past, a version that no longer exists in the present. THE WOMAN, then, becomes the “other woman” to herself. 

What does the ending of Conversations with Other Women mean?
Whatever you think it means is what it means. I meant it to be ambiguous.

THE WOMAN is either in a cab back to London by herself OR she is in a cab with THE MAN.
They have either been playing an elaborate game with each other in order to spice up their marriage OR she’s a cheater.
Etc., etc.
And, of course, this doesn’t account for what the director thought or the actors thought or what you thought. All are certainly as valid as what I thought. Cineaste, you may take your pick.

In Conversations with Other Women, are the children THE WOMAN’s?
I will tell you that Helena Bonham Carter, who played the WOMAN, thought they were. 

In Conversations with Other Women, are any of the children THE WOMAN’S and THE MAN’S together?
Only if you believe THE MAN and THE WOMAN are in the cab together at the end. If you don’t think they’re together, then I would have to say no.

Is a soundtrack available for Conversations with Other Women?
No, but all the songs are on iTunes: “Ripchord” by Rilo Kiley; “L’excessive,” “Le plus beau du quartier,” and “J’en connais” by Carla Bruni.