Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Andrew Blechman

Joe Drabyak of Chester County Book & Music Company in West Chester, PA interviewed Andrew D. Blechman, author of Leisureville: Adventures in America's Retirement Utopias.

The start of the interview:

Joe Drabyak: I'm a big fan of PIGEONS: THE FASCINATING SAGA OF THE WORLD'S MOST REVERED AND REVILED BIRD, your previous volume. Sometimes I imagine that your inspiration for that work may have occurred when you observed an elderly person feeding the birds from a park bench. Were you motivated to write LEISUREVILLE – a wry mediation on the activities of older folks and retirement communities – as a means of providing equal time to those on the other end of the breadcrumbs, or did your inspiration come from elsewhere?

Andrew Blechman: The subjects of my books are actually quite accidental. I wrote about pigeons because I met a pigeon racer while ordering a tuna sandwich at my corner deli. The birth of Leisureville was also a fluke: my neighbors moved to the largest retirement community in the world. Their stories were too outlandish to be ignored. Frankly, I didn't believe it until I saw it for myself.

JD: You did considerable research on America's retirement utopias by spending time in The Villages, an age-restricted, gated community in Florida. I was astounded to learn that this development is larger than Manhattan. What was it really like to be in such a vast metropolis where everyone is so homogenous in age? [read on]
Read the complete Q & A.

Visit Andrew Blechman's website.

The Page 69 Test: Pigeons.

The Page 69 Test: Leisureville.

--Marshal Zeringue