Do you count a book as a leisurely read or a guilty pleasure?
No guilt around reading anything. What is guilt? My facility runs parallel to my comfort television binges. Somewhere in the United Kingdom in an earlier era. Women of a certain age (are they sisters? So much better) looking for love or unhappy with love or whimsical about love. Long walks, chirping, gardening. Throw away a meditative great-aunt and an incredible assimilator. Is there a victor? I’m in! Pretty much any Barbara Pym fits the bill here.
The last book you read that made you laugh?
“Sorro and Bliss,” by Meg Mason.
The last book you read made you cry?
“Sorro and Bliss,” by Meg Mason. A true comic novel about the disappointment of love and depression. It is a rare and beautiful thing when a writer can break your heart with humor; This is also the quality that I admire most in a writer.
Are authors particularly good at marriage and family dynamics?
This is such a difficult question. So many. The Masters: Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, Wallace Stegner, William Trevor. “Mrs. Bridges,” is probably my favorite book on marriage by Evan S. Connell. (I also like “Mr. Bridge”, but Mrs is where it’s at.) While writing my latest book, I was Penelope Lively’s ” The Photograph “, which is a brilliantly structured book about marriage, friendship, betrayal, secrets. – All of my favorite things. All of Tessa Hadley, I recommend to her that I am often intrigued that she Going to remove some kind of restrained order, but no one is better at the nuances of honest relationships. Nora Ephron’s “Heartburn” (funny, heart-wrenching, me salutations). Stephen Sondih if you hum it Ann Petchett, Amy Tan, Meg Wolitzer, Brit Bennett, Alice McDermott. I could go to the pages, but I’ll stop at Laurie Colvin, whose books are being re-released this year. I’m thrilled to have a readership. The new generation will find him. He is very good at love and marriage.
What is the most interesting thing you have learned recently from a book?
From Stephanie Danler’s memoir “Stre”, that wild black mustard spreads throughout Southern California and is coming in a magnificent, yellow flower, in part, by Francisco to mark its path with the Camino Real. The plant is an unwanted invader, affecting native growth and wildflowers. Facts and Metaphors.
What do you like most in a work of literature?
For me it starts with the voice, inextricably linked with the language: Do I like what this person is doing with words? And I’m always looking forward to the moment when a book surprises me in a way that seems completely unavoidable a second later.
Which genre do you particularly enjoy reading? And whom do you avoid?
I do not actively avoid any style, but I am ready to imagine it like a heat-seeking missile. I constantly curse myself for not reading enough poetry. I am a sharp reader – for my opposition – and the poem forces me to slow down, not only to appreciate the individual words but also the way they appear on the page, the white space. Following my post — the “Middlemarch” books — before the email plan, I’m beginning the day with a selection of “The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton” and “The Age of Phyllis” by Honorary Fanoniers. I know from Jeffers’ social media that Clifton was his mentor and friend and I like to explore the relationship between the writers, seeing how their work in conversation can be.