Sunday, November 6, 2016

Tama Janowitz

Tama Janowitz's latest book is Scream: A Memoir of Glamour and Dysfunction. From her Q&A with Alex Clark for the Guardian:

You’ve been publishing books for 35 years, but nearly always fiction. Why a memoir now?

My mom retired from Cornell, where she was professor of English, in 2010 and about one year later she began to fall, so I went back to her house in upstate New York, thinking I could get things organised and she’d be OK, but her physical condition deteriorated so rapidly I had to move up there. I thought, I should just start taking some notes, because I don’t really have the psychological calmness to start writing a novel… And then she got worse and I got more depressed and I had to put her in a home. So I was visiting her every day and still I was trying to take some notes. No matter how bleak things were, life in the nursing home was on many, many days incredibly hilarious.

That mixture of painful experience and comedy is very typical of your writing, isn’t it?

I think if you don’t get my sense of humour, which is pretty much New York bleak, black humour, and in many ways also English humour, then...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue