Julie Klam graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and was an intern at Late Night with David Letterman. She went on to write for such publications as O, the Oprah Magazine, Rolling Stone, Harper’s Bazaar, and Glamour. She was also nominated for an Emmy as a writer for VH1’s Pop-Up Video.
Her new book is the memoir, Please Excuse My Daughter.
For Granta, she talked with Marian Brown "about writing, dating, celebrity encounters and, of course, her family."
Part of the interview:
MB: Your book begins when you are thirty-years-old, contemplating a move to your grandfather’s gated retirement community in Southern Florida. Does that escapist fantasy still hold any appeal now that you’ve become a wife, mother and successful writer?Read the full Q & A.
JK: I’m successful? I can’t wait to call my mother! No, I was back in South Florida for my book tour and like most Shangri-Las, it didn’t hold up to memory. It’s so humid there it makes Manhattan feel like Phoenix. You can’t exist in that place if you don’t have an Aquanet helmet-head, so I was like a sweaty flounder the whole time. Not to mention the greatest appeal of that place was my grandfather, without him there it’s just a bunch of pool rules.
Your brother, Matthew Klam, a fellow writer (Sam the Cat), who figures largely in your life story, was much more of a self-starter than you were. In fact, he often encouraged you to be more proactive in terms of your freelance writing career. How did two children from the same family turn out so differently? Were you sent different messages from your parents, and your mother in particular, because of your gender?
We all ask ourselves how Matthew ended up in our family for various reasons. I think when we were younger, he was clearly more ambitious than I was but now I’d say we’re about even. Basically, I think you emulate or identify with your same-gender parent and my Dad went to work and my Mom didn’t. I was so angry with Matt during the times I wasn’t doing anything, maybe because he knew I had something else in me and I didn’t want to see it. I adore him, though, we’re really close. I am with both of my brothers. We’re all very proud of each other.
Learn more about the book and author at Julie Klam's website and her blog.
My Book, The Movie: Please Excuse My Daughter.