Monday, February 14, 2011

Roxana Robinson

Roxana Robinson is the author of Cost, three earlier novels, and three short-story collections, as well as a biography of Georgia O’Keeffe. Four of these were named Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, the New York Times, Best American Short Stories, and Vogue, among other publications.

From her interview with Derek Alger at Pif Magazine:

DA: You were fortunate enough to study with Bernard Malamud.

RR: Malamud was a very good teacher, he was one of the reasons I went to Bennington. The faculty there was phenomenal: I studied with Howard Nemerov and Stanley Edgar Hyman as well as Malamud. Malamud was a very careful teacher, patient and focused. He made us very conscious of the fact that there was no such thing as inspiration, it was work, every day. I admired him very much.

* * *
DA: You went to great lengths to do research for a character in your most recent novel, Cost.

RR: Cost required a lot of research: Alzheimer’s, neurosurgery, and heroin addiction.

One of the characters turned out to be a heroin addict, and he sort of erupted into the narrative. When I found out about him I realized I needed to learn about heroin addicts. I used every kind of research I could – reading, talking to everyone who was connected to that world, and going to meetings of Narcotic Anonymous and meeting the addicts themselves. It was enlightening and humbling.

* * *
DA: Getting back to literature, John Updike was a great influence on you.

RR: When I was in my late teens, I guess, or early twenties, I...[read on]
Visit Roxana Robinson’s website.

The Page 69 Test: Cost.

My Book, The Movie: Cost.

--Marshal Zeringue