Chalk it up to another of life’s great mysteries: YA author Mariko Tamaki’s career consists of thinking about, writing for, and talking with teenagers—but she didn’t love being one.
“I hated being a teenager. It was like I was being a teenager wrong and everybody else seemed to have some handbook,” Tamaki says. “Every time I tried to do something cool, it was really not cool. It was almost like the harder I tried, the worse it was.
Michael Schulman photographed by Lev Kuperman.
When Meryl Streep accepts a role, she acts the hell out of it—period.
That point was driven home for Michael Schulman backstage at The Public Theater in 2009. Streep had just appeared in a reading of “A Good Smoke” by Don Cummings, along with two of her four children, and the whole family was celebrating. Schulman was on assignment for the New Yorker’s Talk of the Town.
“There was one moment I’ll never forget, right at the beginning,” ...
Mauel Gonzales photgraphed by Pableaux Johnson.
Readers of The Regional Office Is Under Attack! might rightly ask what is the Regional Office and why is it under attack?! They’re questions the book’s author, Manuel Gonzales, could not have answered when he began to write the manuscript.
“I never know what I’m writing when I start writing,” says Gonzales (The Miniature Wife and Other Stories, 2013). “The original opening [of The Regional Office Is Under Attack!] is not in the book anymore, but it was Henry ...
Molly Prentiss photographed by Elizabeth Leitzell.
According to a former classmate with synesthesia, Molly Prentiss is a peach.
“I first heard about synesthesia when I was in graduate school, because a woman in one of my classes had it,” says Prentiss, who studied creative writing at California College of the Arts. “We barely talked, but one day she approached me and said something like, ‘You’re peach!’ To her, that was what my color was—that’s what she saw when she saw me.”
Synesthesia is ...
Augusten Burroughs photographed by Christopher Schelling.
After the publication of his self-help book, This Is How, Augusten Burroughs considered getting a divorce—from memoirs.
“At that point, I had made the intellectual decision, within myself, that I wanted to write novels,” says Burroughs, who wrote two in the next few years.
But a third book eclipsed them both: the story of how he fell in love with his husband, literary agent Christopher Schelling. Yes, Burroughs’s latest, Lust & Wonder, is, in fact, a memoir.
“That is ...
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney photgrpahed by Lisa Whiteman.
In The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s glorious New York novel, four adult siblings meet at the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant for some fresh coffee and old roles.
“The three of them wondered how he did it, how he always managed to be unruffled while putting everyone else on edge, how even in this moment, at this lunch, where Leo should be abashed, laid bare, and the balance of power could have, should have, shifted against him, he still ...
Roy Blount Jr. photographed by Joan Griswold.
Readers, save a little room on your plate for Roy Blount Jr.’s toothsome tome, Save Room for Pie: Food Songs and Chewy Ruminations. You may be satiated, but you won’t be sorry.
“The food books I tend to most like are about eating and enjoying—stories about food, rather than analyses of how food is being ruined for us. They’re celebrations of food—food that’s good for you and yum-goody at the same time,” says Blount, who’s inadvertently described Save ...
Sarah Schulman photographed by Drew Stevens.
The Cosmopolitans may very well be Sarah Schulman’s breakout book—an idea that the author finds not without a trace of humor.
“It’s funny, isn’t it? I’ve been around for so many years,” says Schulman, 57. “If you Google ‘underrated’ and my name, you’ll get a lot of hits... I’m always getting ‘best unknown book’ and things like that—and it’s because of the queer content.”
Schulman is the author of 10 novels (After Delores, Rat Bohemia, Shimmer, etc.), five ...