There is a questionnaire floating around cyberspace by us literary types. I'm not sure why, but it's taken the form of a stick. I suppose because of running relays. But I instead am thinking of a rainstick my friend Robyn gave to me for my birthday a few years ago. It was rough, ribbed wood with a fuzzy red cloth band on one end, and was hollow, and filled with beans that rushed from end to end when you shook it, and the whooshing sound was supposed to remind you of rain, and it did. Though I never knew what to do with it.
You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
A children's book. Something with pop-ups.
Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Constantly. This is part of my problem. Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre. Nick from The Great Gatsby. Aragon from The Lord of the Rings. Julian Rose from Claire Marvel. Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Dr. Baker from Little House on the Prairie. Spike from Buffy...
When I was a child, influenced by too much Victorian literature, I kept waiting for my guardian/patron to take me under his wing, fall madly in love with me, and support my art. Obviously this has not yet happened.
The last book you bought is:
Rushmore by Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson, for a class I'm teaching.
The last book you read:
Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett.
What are you currently reading?
Goldbeater's Skin by G.C. Waldrep
The Married Man by Edmund White
On Writing by Stephen King
True Notebooks by Mark Salzman
Misfortune by Wesley Stace (advanced copy--whoo!)
Yes, I read five books at once. This is also part of my problem. Yes, one of them is a Stephen King book. I am not a Stephen King fan. I read only one or two of his books, something involving dead animals, which doesn't narrow it down, when I was younger. But he seems like a interesting, good person, and this book, nonfiction on writing (obviously) came recommended.
Wesley Stace is aka John Wesley Harding, a musician who wrote a song about the title character in what would become Misfortune, felt bad that he only gave her story a few minutes, and decided to expand it into his first novel. I applaud such ventures.
And G.C. is wonderful, kind, imaginative. I met him in the sunshine and green of Vermont summer. He once stood in a crowded, hot hallway in Chicago just to hear me speak.
Everyone else in this lot, you're on your own.
Five books you would take to a deserted island:
Above the River by James Wright
Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Claire Marvel by Jon Burham Schwartz
Some kind of Harry Potter situation
Note these arenot what I think are the best books in the world, necessarily (though the first four would be close), but ones that would be entertaining upon repeated reading for an undetermined amount of time. Perhaps I should throw in an anthology.
Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
I don't know if I know three people, but someone who'll make interesting answers.