Sunday, March 16, 2008

Favorite book when you were a child: Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews. So? So? I'm not ashamed. I still sort of love it.

Your top five authors: Flannery O'Connor (especially Wise Blood); Vladimir Nabokov (yes, Lolita, and I can also tell you the audio Lolita as read by Jeremy Irons is FANTASTIC); Milan Kundera (read The Unbearable Lightness of Being and The Art of the Novel and see below); Marguerite Duras (read The Lover); Andre Dubus (my favorite is The Times are Never so Bad). These are the writers I read and re-read.

Book you’ve faked reading: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. I was supposed to read this book for Tobias Wolff's Forms of the Novel class in grad school, and I tried to, I really tried. It's considered one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century, and it's got everything I like: weird religious stuff (including Pontius Pilate, Judas, and a talking black cat named Behemoth); love, sex and passion; slapstick comedy and politics; and the line every writer should understand--"Manuscripts don't burn." After hearing the class discussion of it and realizing everyone else not only read it, but also adored it, I tried it again and failed. Again. Too many people much smarter than me love this book, so I know the problem isn't the book. There's a copy of it on my shelf. Maybe it's time to give it another go.

Book you are an evangelist for: The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera. I have bought, lent, lost more copies of this book than any other.

Book you’ve bought for the cover: Lucky Girls by Nell Freudenberger

Book that changed your life: My answer to this probably changes by the minute. The Gift by Lewis Hyde.

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