On Thursday evening your correspondent attended a reading at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe by Brooklyn Heights resident and native Rachel Cline, from her forthcoming novel, The Question Authority. Her central character in the story, like Ms. Cline, lives in the Heights and works for the City’s Board of Education, but Ms. Cline carefully said that the “Board of Education” in the novel is not the actual Board of Education, just as the character’s boss is not Ms. Cline’s boss. This is, in other words, fiction, not autobiography.
The short piece Ms. Cline read begins with her character waking up and finding that her cat, usually nestled on her bed, is missing. She gets up, looks all through her apartment, and can’t find him. On her way to work, an easy commute by foot, she looks everywhere, but doesn’t see him. Arriving at the Board of Education, she finds a message to report to her boss’s office. Her boss tells her a male teacher has been reported to have been sexually harassing female students. Her instruction is not to fire him, but to put together an offer to pay him to leave quietly.
The Question Authority will be published in April. Meanwhile, you may pre-order it here.
One spoiler I forgot to ask Ms. Cline at the close of her reading: does she find the cat? I’m worried about him.
Photo: C. Scales for BHB.