Arts & Culture
1:32 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Son Makes a 'Casebook' on His Parents' Lives

Casebook: A novel by Mona Simpson was released in April.
Casebook: A novel by Mona Simpson was released in April.
Credit Boswell Books

When you are a kid, a lot of the world seems like a mystery in need of figuring out.  And probably the most obvious example of that is figuring out your parents.

That’s what Miles Adler-Hart sets out to do from a pretty young age.  He’s the fictional hero of Green Bay native Mona Simpson’s latest novel, Casebook.  Miles goes so far as to employ investigative techniques to snoop on his mother as she and his father divorce, and she starts dating the mysterious Eli.

Over the years the book covers, Miles not only learns about the inner workings of adulthood, he begins to understand more about himself.

Mona Simpson, whose other books include the well-regarded Anywhere but Here and Off Keck Road, was back in Wisconsin recently. She described to Lake Effect’s Mitch Teich the difference between her original hometown and the town she now calls home.

“No one could, certainly I couldn’t, but I think almost no one could fully understand California.  Southern California,” says Simpson. “There are so many factors in its history, it’s so big and it’s got so many huge issues.  I don’t yet, but I feel like maybe I could understand Green Bay.”