Monday, June 17, 2013

Authors Jami Attenberg, Fiona Maazel and Domenica Ruta

Love surprisingly funny books that tackle serious modern issues? Join us in the Bryant Park Reading Room sponsored by HSBC Wednesday with two authors that take us deep into the family relationships that ultimately make us tick. Jami Attenberg’s latest, The Middlesteins, explores marriage, family, and America’s obsession with food, while Fiona Maazel’s Woke Up Lonely deals with loneliness, intimacy, and connections in the digital age.

You could win books from each author. The first two people to arrive for the event after 12pm, find the Reading Room Coordinator and say the secret passcode: Yellow will win. Reading Room is open weather permitting 11am to 7pm. Books available courtesy of publishers, while supplies last.

Word for Word Author
Wednesday, June 19
12:30pm - 1:45pm
Bryant Park Reading Room sponsored by HSBC

Tuesday BookClub

A native of Danvers, Mass., Domenica Ruta graduated from Oberlin College and earned an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at UT-Austin. Her memoir, With or Without You, is her debut. Ruta leads our BookClub discussion with Oxford University Press this Tuesday on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, but first takes some time to answer our Q&A.

What was your inspiration for this book?
The book I chose for the book club? Simple – I wanted fun but stimulating summer reading. A ghost story novella by James met the criteria perfectly.
For my book? A lifetime of beauty and pain only makes sense to me after it has been distilled into sentences. I had to write this book in order to move on and write other things, like my novel.

Where do you do your best writing?
Honestly…in bed. I know it’s bad for every single muscle and joint in my body. I am going to make some osteopath a very rich man.

Which author do you wish had been your 7th grade English teacher?
My seventh grade English teacher was execrable. Almost anyone with basic literacy could have improved upon her so-called lessons. I like to imagine Joseph Campbell coming in to do guest lectures on mythology. Seventh graders are perfectly located in intellectual time to be transformed by something like that – one foot still in childhood, where magical stories still have power, and one foot in the complicated world of adulthood, where metaphors can be analyzed for greater meaning.

What is your secret talent?
I am pretty good at guessing what mix of breeds make up a mutt dog.

What is your favorite book?
I cannot, will not, answer that question. I love too many too much.

Who reads your first draft?
NO ONE! My first drafts are hideous, putrid, bloody, mangled beasts. It is immoral to expose anyone to something so ugly. My seventh or eight drafts go to my best friend and best reader, novelist/screenwriter Brian McGreevy.

Do you prefer writing on a computer or longhand?
I do both. Different energy fuels each process, and so there are times when longhand makes the most sense, and times when I need to type.

What book are you currently reading? (Old school or e-Reader?)
I am just finishing a brilliant little monograph by Marie-Louise Von Franz, a disciple of Jung, called The Cat, about this wonderful Romanian folk tale. Also reading Daniel Berrigan’s Ezekiel – a brilliant and disquieting alchemy of poetry, politics, biblical exegesis, rant, and rally. I’m also reading a forthcoming memoir by Nicole Kear called Now I See You. And of course re-reading Turn of the Screw.

What word or punctuation mark are you most guilty of overusing?
I refuse to limit myself in any way when I write. (Remember what I said about horrible first drafts?) I use any color on the palette I want. If it turns out ugly, I just delete it. Guilt is a waste of time.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
A figure skater. A veterinarian. A radical eco-activist. Ideally, all three.

Did you have an “a-ha!” moment that made you want to be a writer?
Read chapter four of my memoir for the answer to that.

Do you read your books after they’ve been published?
I just recently published my first book and I’m in no hurry to reread it.

Word for Word BookClub
Tuesday, June 18
12:30pm - 1:45pm
Bryant Park Reading Room sponsored by HSBC

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