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Author Spotlight: An Interview with Alice Eve Cohen

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Teresa's Reading Corner: Author Spotlight: An Interview with Alice Eve Cohen

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Author Spotlight: An Interview with Alice Eve Cohen

Not too long ago I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing a gripping memoir by Alice Even Cohen.  If you haven't stopped by that post you absolutely should as there is an opportunity for you to win a copy of What I thought I Knew.  In the meantime the author took some time to answer a few questions for me.

1. What are you reading right now?

I’m in the middle of a fantastic YA novel called, Going Bovine, by Libba Bray—a trippy, profound, surreal, hilarious and heartbreaking coming of age story.

2. Are there any authors you would name as influences?

So many! In no particular order, I’ve been influenced by these authors, among others:
Lorrie Moore, Abigail Thomas, David Sedaris, Frank McCourt, William Steig, Barbara Kingsolver, Tony Kuschner, Anna Deavere Smith, E.B. White, Sharon Creech, Jhumpa Lahiri, Lewis Carol, Virginia Woolf, Zora Neale Hurston, William Carver, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Toni Morrison, Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Arundhati Roy, August Wilson, Charles Dickens, Tennessee Williams, J.K. Rowling, Patricia McCormick, William Faulkner, Maurice Sendak, Bertolt Brecht, Diane Ackerman, Vladimir Nabakov, Oliver Sacks…

3. What was the book that most influenced your life and why?

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. It was the first novel I ever read. I was about seven years old, and I was utterly transported. It opened a door for me into reading as a journey of the imagination, and it made me want to write.

4. What are your 5 favorite books and why?

It’s impossible to choose just five! My favorites change regularly, depending on my mood, and on what I’ve been reading most recently. I love each of these books, because reading them is a transformative experience, and because each one, in its own way, is mind-blowing and perfect.
• Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech
• The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy
• The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner
• Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris
• Angels in America, by Tony Kuschner
• The Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
• Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt

5. What are your favorite books to give others?

Well …I like giving friends books that I’ve written, and any book by anyone on my list of favorite authors, and whatever I happen to be in the middle of reading and enjoying.

6. What’s next?

Reread Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

7. What is on your bookshelf?

The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss
Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris
Love Letters: An Anthology of Passion
The Three-Dog Life, by Abigail Thomas
A Little History of the World, by E.H. Gombrich
Angels and Ages, by Adam Gopnik
The Thing About Life is that One Day You’ll be Dead, by David Shields
A Natural History of the Senses, by Diane Ackerman
The Center of the Universe, by Nancy Bachrach
Perfection, by Julie Metz
Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann
Where I’m Calling From, by William Carver
The Book of Questions, by Pablo Neruda
The Snowy Day, by Jack Keats
Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
Zagat New York City Restaurant Guide


8. What isn’t on your bookshelf but should be?

Patti Smith’s memoir, “Just Kids”

9. What books would people be surprised to learn that you own?

I own loads of children’s books that my kids have outgrown but that I still love to read and reread and re-re-read. My daughters put their old books in a giveaway pile; I pilfer the pile and put my favorite children’s books by my bed.

10. What question are you never asked in an interview but wish you were?

I’m asked a wonderful variety of questions. No unfulfilled interview yearnings that I can think of.

11. What is a typical day for you?

Wake at 6:45, have breakfast with my ten-year-old daughter Eliana, take her to her school (both of us trying to read on the subway, unless we’re squished like sardines into the rush-hour train, which pretty much rules out reading), get an awesome cup of coffee in the Village (either drink it in a paper cup while walking, or sit down and have coffee with a friend), write for three or four hours, either in my living room or at The Writers Room in Greenwich Village, (while trying very hard not to be distracted by email and FaceBook), quick lunch (whatever’s in the fridge), go for a bike ride—either around Central Park, or bike on the Greenway, the bike path along the Hudson River, up to the Little Red Light House and the George Washington Bridge–(or be lazy and take a nap instead of biking, an excellent rainy day alternative), prepare to teach, take care of boring chores, pick up my daughter from school and seek the right balance of homework and play, make dinner and eat with family (my husband Michael and I take turns cooking), teach my playwriting class to college students at The New School, take the subway home (while trying to get reading done), have a glass of wine with Michael while watching John Stewart and Stephen Colbert on TV, listen to music, and go to bed way too late.


12. Are you a book collector? Do you collect any particular genre?

Nope, not a collector. I love libraries and book stores, so I can keep changing what’s on my book shelf.


Find Alice Eve Cohen on the web at:  http://www.aliceevecohen.com

Thank you for answering all of my bookish questions.  Its always interesting to see what authors are reading.  I'm already adding some of your answers to my TBR list.

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1 Comments:

At November 23, 2010 at 6:44 AM , Blogger Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

What a great interview Teresa!

I will pick up her book as I love non-fiction reads. I like the fact that she is a very well rounded reader and she is spot on about the David S. book. His books are very good!

 

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