Anna Quindlen on her new novel, ‘Still Life with Bread Crumbs’

Actually, the novel precedes “Lots of the Candles, Plenty of Cake.” I’d started working on “Still Life With Bread Crumbs” when the idea for the memoir came. The novel had brought me back to something I’d done with “Blessings” [2002], in which one of the protagonists is 80-something. When you have a character who’s farther along in the span of life, it’s a richer vein to mine. You don’t just get the young woman — you get the young woman and the middle-aged woman and the older woman and the single woman and the mother all at the same time. I found that really rewarding when I wrote “Blessings,” so I was happy to revisit it with this novel.

Your new protagonist, Rebecca Winter, is a photographer. How is that profession important to the story?

The more I thought about two aspects of Rebecca’s life, the more it occurred to

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