Amy Bloom on A.J. Cronin, ‘Charlotte’s Web’ & lying on her couch

Amy Bloom stops by the store Tuesday, February 27 at 7 p.m. to discuss her new novel White Houses, which explores the real-life relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. Check out Amy’s answers to The BookPeople Questionnaire below. 

amy bloom

BP: What are you reading these days?

AB: Tayari Jones’ American Marriage. 


BP: What books did you love as a child?

AB: All of Louisa May Alcott, even the dopey stories about boys. Tale of Two Cities. (Loved. I WAS Sydney Carton and don’t you dare say I wasn’t.) The works of A.J. Cronin, whom my mother enjoyed. (Five dollars to every reader who has ever heard of this man.) Also, Willa Cather. Also, Charlotte’s Web.


BP: What’s the hardest thing about writing?

AB: Every single thing. Sometimes, the act of typing isn’t unpleasant, although it is hard on my left shoulder, for some reason.


BP: What’s the best thing about writing?

AB: Lying on my couch, thinking that some sentence was pretty good and knowing that in another hour, I can just go make dinner.


BP: What’s your favorite word?

AB: Shmundie. (Yiddish for pussy.)


BP: What’s a sentence you’ve loved and remembered from a book?

AB: “I could fuck up a wet dream with my attitude.” (Thom Jones)


BP: Do you have any weird writing habits?

AB: Gah. All neurotic, none interesting. I don’t hang like a bat, say a prayer or have a favorite pencil.


BP: Who are your literary influences?

AB: All those writers I mentioned in the second question, plus Carol Shields, Octavia Butler, Leo Tolstoy, Robert Stone, James Baldwin, Jane Austen.


BP: What’s your favorite place to write?

AB: My office, above the luncheonette.


BP: What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer?

AB: I’d go back to being a therapist, or a waitress, I imagine.



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