Moses’s debut novel, The Appetites of Girls, explores the lives of four women through college and a decade beyond.
Why did you decide to use the four-friends format in your novel?
I’d read Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club and fell in love with the book and characters. The structure appealed to me because I’d written short stories for years. It felt comfortable, familiar, and doable. So I came up with the structure of four different characters. I wrote their stories as separate short stories, and the theme of emotional relationships through food came later.
What are some of the other themes?
What I was most trying to say was that each young woman struggles with two voices in her head: one tells her that she isn’t going to succeed, she’s not worthy; another voice tells her she deserves happiness and to pursue her dreams. Your whole world when you’re young is your family, so much of where those voices come from is rooted in experiences within mother-daughter and/or sibling relationships. I wanted to show where those early voices came from and how they affected the journeys each character took.
You tell the stories of four women, but why do you bookend the novel with Ruth’s narration?
Ruth has the fullest journey in the book. She has such a difficult time standing up for herself and believing in herself. Her life comes full circle, especially since she’s pregnant at the end with a daughter. I loved the idea of the characters reuniting for the birth of a girl, which is one of the reasons I wanted to bookend the novel with Ruth