Zoje Stage

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Zoje Stage

Goodreads Author


Born
in Pittsburgh, PA
Website

Twitter

Genre

Influences

Member Since
September 2017


An author of dark and suspenseful novels, Zoje lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Her debut novel BABY TEETH (St. Martin's Press) was released 17 July 2018. It will be released in the UK as BAD APPLE (Transworld) on 9 Aug.

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Zoje Stage Thank you so much, Renee! Maybe not surprisingly, it's a bit of a long story. I'll give you the highlights...

Several years ago, while I was still…more
Thank you so much, Renee! Maybe not surprisingly, it's a bit of a long story. I'll give you the highlights...

Several years ago, while I was still pursuing a career as a filmmaker, I wrote a script that I wanted to direct called "Hands and Knees." It involved a family similar to BABY TEETH's, but the theme was quite different: it was about a woman who was becoming overwhelmed by what she perceived to be the horrors of domesticity. As an intended film, it was geared more toward mood (cool, detached) and a cinematic look.

I had the opportunity to take the script to Independent Film Week in 2012, where I discussed the project with nearly 20 producers. After people read the script I noticed a recurring bit of feedback: people wanted less implied horror and more actual creepy bits, and to know more about what was going on with the little girl. ("Hanna's" character in the script wasn't nearly as developed, nor was the plot involving her battles with her mother.)

I decided later that same year that I wanted to try learning to write novels, and I spent the next few years engaged in that process (I wrote five books before BABY TEETH). The concept of "Hands and Knees" stuck with me, and when I finally felt able to bring my novel-writing skills to the project, I started fleshing out the characters, mindful of the feedback I'd gotten from producers years before.

BABY TEETH as a novel took on a life of its own - wildly different from the screenplay - when I made two key decisions: 1) to give Suzette Crohn's Disease (to increase her vulnerability and give her a weakness that her daughter uses against her); 2) to write the novel in dual POV, making Suzette and Hanna each the protagonist of their own story, and each other's antagonist. With these two developments, the characters and story took on a life of their own, and it became my job to "listen" to what they were trying to tell me. (less)
Zoje Stage Thank you, Selena! Part of what I wanted to do with the ending is leave readers imagining for themselves what might happen next, or in the next couple…moreThank you, Selena! Part of what I wanted to do with the ending is leave readers imagining for themselves what might happen next, or in the next couple of years. One concern for writing a sequel is it would probably make the "resolution" too definitive - at least for me, and possibly for some readers as well. But many have asked about a sequel, and I certainly appreciate that people want to spend even more time with these characters and see what happens to them! (less)
Average rating: 3.78 · 5,287 ratings · 2,200 reviews · 3 distinct works
Baby Teeth

3.78 avg rating — 5,235 ratings — published 2018 — 14 editions
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Baby Teeth: The First Ten C...

4.35 avg rating — 51 ratings2 editions
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Baby Teeth: A Novel

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Zoje Stage and 53 other people liked Dennis's review of Baby Teeth:
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
"Wow, how do I begin to review Baby Teeth ?! I really don't even know where to begin. The story centers around the Jensen (pronounced Yensen), a family of artists living in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The hip Jensen family consists o..." Read more of this review »
Zoje Stage and 219 other people liked Crumb's review of Baby Teeth:
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
"A Sure-Fire Hit! Not to be Missed!

This is going to be one of the most controversial books of the year. It has generated a whole lot of buzz on social media and has garnered tons of reviews here on Goodreads. Whether you hate it or you love it, you..." Read more of this review »
More of Zoje's books…
“It was hard to pour endless love into someone who wouldn't love you back. No one could do it forever”
Zoje Stage, Baby Teeth

“Sometimes she struggled with resentment watching her family eat a meal that she prepared. People took eating and shitting for granted, like the continuous beating of their hearts, the inevitable protection of their skin. They didn't think about their intestines doing everything wrong, fucking up the basic process of digestion.”
Zoje Stage, Baby Teeth

“How much had her young brain already misconstrued? Observing, absorbing. Warping, twisting. Drawing conclusions about everything they did.”
Zoje Stage, Baby Teeth

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