Heroine.Posted: May 10, 2012
I have dim memories of Isaac Pelepko from growing up. He was a few grades above me. His mother was the librarian at St. Mary’s, my elementary school. He kept to himself a lot, but had a rumored legendary artistic ability—even better than mine!—which earned my envy and curiosity.
Twenty years later, I find him on Facebook. He’s an artist living in New York. I devour the albums of his work that he posts online. And then I get to one portrait of a woman in profile, and I stopped cold:
This is Meena.
Meena is the heroine of my novel, The Girl in the Road. As soon as I saw this picture, I knew it was her—with cornrows instead of a slipknot, but otherwise, her.
I asked Isaac if I could buy it from him. Though I couldn’t really afford it, I felt strongly enough about it that I needed to make the sacrifice. Right now it’s rolled up in a mailer on my art desk, waiting for the 18 x 23 black frame to arrive. But I take it out and unroll it almost every day, just to have another look. She is, unmistakably, my heroine.
Isaac is an incredible artist. Go check out his work.