If you don’t know who A.M. Homes is, you should. A former writer for The L Word (Season 2) and author of eight books, she is notorious for exploring the darker side of the suburbs, family and sexuality. Several of her novels have been turned into films, including her first book, Jack, which was adapted into a 2004 Showtime movie starring Stockard Channing, and The Safety of Objects, which was adapted and directed by Rose Troche (Go Fish) in 2001. Troche is also working on an adaptation of Homes’ 1993 novel, In a Country of Mothers.
Though Homes is famously private about her sexuality and her personal life in general, she recently stated in the Washington Post that “I’ve dated men and I’ve dated women and there’s no more or less to it than that.”
It is because of this evasiveness, however, that many people were surprised by Homes’ recently published memoir. The Mistress’s Daughter, which was published last month, is about Homes’ experience growing up in an adopted family and the impact of meeting her birth parents — a mother who looked more like a “prison matron” than the Audrey Hepburn she’d long imagined, and a father who insisted she get a DNA test despite an uncanny resemblance.
In the book, Homes recounts how she managed to negotiate "the divide between sociology and biology: the chemical necklace of DNA that wraps around the neck sometimes like a beautiful ornament — our birthright, our history — and other times like a choke chain."
Homes recently spoke with AfterEllen.com about The Mistress’s Daughter, writing for The L Word, and maintaining her privacy even after she has written such a revealing memoir.
AfterEllen.com: You’ve said before that you don’t like memoirs. What compelled you to write The Mistress’s Daughter?
AE: Was the process of writing a memoir different from writing a novel?
AE: One of the things I found most interesting is how structurally and emotionally The Mistress’s Daughter is divided into two books. Did you write each book at a different time and place?
AE: What has been the reaction to The Mistress’s Daughter?