Nell Freudenberger is one of the brightest young novelists in America, and she takes the Shelf Life hot seat this week. She suggests that Michael Gove should introduce English Literature GSCE students to international authors, and confides that she needs to read the self-help book she would like to write. Her latest novel, The Newlyweds, is published by Penguin (£12.99).
1). What are you reading at the moment?
The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam
2). As a child, what did you read under the covers?
3) Has a book ever made you cry, and if so which one?
Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, among many others
4) You are about to be put into solitary confinement for a year and allowed to take three books. What would you choose?
5) Which literary character would you most like to sleep with?
Cormac McCarthy’s John Grady
6) If you could write a self-help book, what would you call it?
How To Get Through the Day (and Night!) with Small Kids … but I need to read it, not write it.
7) Michael Gove has asked you to rewrite the GCSE English Literature syllabus. Which book, which play, and which poem would you make compulsory reading?
8) Which party from literature would you most like to have attended?
Any of Gatsby’s
9) What would you title your memoirs?
I would never write a memoir … much less memoirs.
10) Which literary character do you dream of playing?
11) What book would you give to a lover?
Elizabeth Bishop’s Complete Poems
12) Spying Mein Kampf or Dan Brown on someone’s bookshelf can spell havoc for a friendship. What’s your literary dealbreaker?
No friendship is worth losing over a book. Though I admit Mein Kampf would give me pause.Tags: America, Books, Fiction, Interview, Shelf Life