Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mary Roach

Mary Roach's new book is Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal.

From her Q & A with Molly Driscoll at The Christian Science Monitor:

Q: You warn readers in your book when things are coming that are a little unpleasant. If you're discussing these topics at events or book signings, do people get grossed out, or do they know what they're in for?

A: I was at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center and I think sometimes the audience isn't necessarily Mary Roach people but they're JCC subscribers. The guy who runs the program said he was looking at people in the audience and there was one woman who picked up the edge of her shirt and put it over her mouth or something as if she was going to throw up. So apparently there were people looking a little stricken.

Usually the people who show up at these events are people who know my work and come knowing what to expect or come on an empty stomach.

Q: Some of your questions to scientists were a little unusual. How was the reception from the science community as a whole to your investigations?

A: They were delighted. The exception being, I think Michael Levitt would rather talk about something else by now. [Levitt is an expert in gastrointestinal gas.] He was nice enough to talk to me, but I think he'd rather talk about some of his other work.

The guy, [ecologist] Dick Tracy with the mealworms and the stomach, the whole experiment was really fun. [Roach watched as Tracy tested to see if a mealworm could eat its way out of another animal's stomach.]

Even Rodriguez [the fake name of a prisoner whom Roach questioned about his smuggling of objects in his rectum] enjoyed talking about...[read on]
Learn about Mary Roach's six favorite books.

--Marshal Zeringue