Molly Ringwald's book tour comes to campus

By Anna Van Voorhis

This Monday you might have been confused by the sight of yet another redhead on campus. The newest addition to the hoard of Macalester redheads was the original brat pack darling, Molly Ringwald. The star of the 80s classics, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Cluband Pretty in Pink, was on campus promoting her second book, When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories. Common Good Books hosted her reading, signing and interview with local author John Reimringer (Vestments), in the Weyerhaeuser Chapel. This is the actress’ first novel; her previous book, titled Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family, and Finding the Perfect Lipstickwas a memoir, that served as a guide to fashion, relationships and maternity. When It Happens to Youtakes a much more serious tone than does Getting the Pretty Back. The whole book is woven through with the theme of betrayal. For the reading portion of the event, Ringwald chose an excerpt from chapter three of the book that described the story of a mother and her four-year-old transgender son. Though she didn’t read the entire chapter, Ringwald hinted at the ultimate betrayal of the son by his mother. The transgender theme seemed to particularly interest Macalester students, one of whom asked Ringwald why she chose to write about the topic. “This topic was interesting to me because I’ve known a lot of transgendered adults, but I didn’t know them as children…I knew that they had had a really difficult road getting there and it was always interesting to me what their family life was like.” The actress also shared that Kimberly Reed, director of Prodigal Sons, who is a male to female transgendered person had read the story and found it moving and organic. The nuanced way in which the former child star worked with the tricky subject of transgenderism proved that she has right to be proud of her book. “I really have to say that this book, I’m more proud of this, than just about anything that I’ve done in my entire life, other than having three children,” Ringwald said. Reimringer, the author of Vestments, also described her work as imbued with Hemmingway and Kundera influences, praise that Ringwald took gracefully, though she proclaimed her greatest influence to be Raymond Carver. Speaking to the audience, Ringwald encouraged writers to stick with it and to not get discouraged. Stay tuned for The Mac Weekly’s review of her book, or if you can’t stand the suspense, copies are for sale at Common Good Books. refresh –>