Think about whatever it is you’re good at —- writing, science, making people laugh — and what it would be like to become wildly popular for it. So popular that everyone in the country knew who you were and cheered you on. In Carrie Snyder’s novel, “Girl Runner,” the protagonist Aganetha Smart knows this sort of notoriety; winning a gold metal in the 1928 Olympics for running made her famous. But what happens when time passes and people stop caring? That’s the central question this novel raises.
In the book, Smart is now an old woman living in a nursing home. No one ever thinks about the 1928 Olympics or cares who she once was. But one day, two strangers show up at the nursing home wanting to interview Smart for a documentary they’re making about female athletes. Eager to reminisce, Smart agrees, but as she retells her story, it isn’t all triumph that surfaces, tragedy does, too.
Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence