I became a fan of Yael Goldstein‘s debut novel, Overture, shortly after Doubleday published it last year, so when somebody alerted me to the fact that the novel is being republished in paperback this summer as The Passion of Tasha Darksy, and that she was now billed as Yael Goldstein Love, I shot her an email to ask what was up. “The title change wasn’t my call,” she wrote back, but resulted when Broadway Books feared the original title was scaring off readers without classical music backgrounds. “I was never crazy about the title to begin with, [so] we had a brainstorming meeting to come up with a new title and everyone kept saying things along the lines of ‘the thing people love about this book is all the passion, so how do we capture that in the title?’ and then all of the sudden my agent burst out with The Passion of Tasha Darsky. I actually far prefer it as a title, though it is a little complicated to explain to people.”
As long as they were changing the title, she decided, why not start using her married name? “Yael Goldstein sounds like a prissy little spoil sport to me,” she confessed, “but that was the only name I had when I published Overture. Yael Goldstein Love, on the other hand, sounds like someone to be reckoned with. I’m a little intimidated by her. And very pleased that I’ll be spending the rest of my career pretending to be her.”
And one last change: “I came to dislike the opening [of the novel] after it was already too late to make changes to the hardcover,” she said, citing the bristliness of Tasha’s narration—a strategy intended to show how Tasha was become less defensive as she warmed to telling her story. “When I got some distance from the book I came to realize that this had an effect I hadn’t fully anticipated: it not only holds the reader at a distance for the first ten pages or so but also colors how you feel toward her once she starts becoming more welcoming to the reader. It was a mistake, in other words. And I’m grateful to have had the chance to correct it.” You can judge the results for yourself when The Passion of Tasha Darsky comes out in August.