Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jeffrey Frank

Jeffrey Frank's novels include The Columnist, Bad Publicity, and Trudy Hopedale.

Back when Bad Publicity was published, David S. Hirschman interviewed Frank for Part of their dialogue:

What was your inspiration for Bad Publicity? Did you gather a lot of information for it while you were working in Washington in the '80s?

I wasn't even aware I was collecting it at the time, but I was constantly uncomfortable living and working in Washington. I was very happy working at the Washington Post, but the city itself was increasingly giving me the creeps, and I really wanted to find some way to get it down. How do you get down the fact that you go to a dinner with Washington people and you always leave feeling somewhat unclean? I was just trying to capture this odd place that was increasingly out of touch with the world, but increasingly doing mischief on the rest of the world and the rest of the country. It's a kind of toxic biosphere, but it's only since I left Washington that I really got a sense of how.

In the book you really skewer the Washington culture. How do your friends in Washington feel about that?

Most of my friends kind of like the portrayal I think, and they know I'm not writing about them. It's just a bizarre culture. In a way, it's hard to write about because it's got a sort of cliché built into everything about it. In that way, Washington lends itself to the genre novel, and it's sometimes hard to write about it in a fresh way.
Read the complete Q & A.

Visit Jeffrey Frank's website.

Writers Read: Jeffrey Frank.

--Marshal Zeringue