Sunday, July 1, 2012

Joshua Henkin

Joshua Henkin's new novel is The World Without You.

From his Q & A with Barbara Chai at the Speakeasy blog:

In “The World Without You,” the setting is the Berkshires, but all of the characters are very shaped by New York City. Is New York an invisible character?

I think it is. All three of my books feel to me like very New York-centric books. Even though this book is based in the Berkshires, David convinces Marilyn to get a country house because he says the Berkshires are the Massachusetts outpost of the Upper West Side. He promised her that Zabar’s is going to come to Great Barrington. I think these characters are New Yorkers at heart. My books aren’t autobiographical in any narrow sense, but I do think that New York as a place is something that’s very strong in my books, it’s very strong in me.

You are from New York and later moved around a lot too. But you eventually came back.

I grew up in New York but I moved away for awhile, I lived in Jerusalem for a year, I lived in Cambridge, Mass. for four years, I lived in the Bay Area for four years, and I lived in Ann Arbor for eight years. I didn’t think it was inevitable that I would end up back here, and yet here I am, back here for 13 years. There’s something about New York that pulls me, and something particular about the Upper West Side. Morningside Heights is my neighborhood in some way, even though I don’t live there any longer. Even the places I left to go to feel related to New York. I was born in 1964 and one of my earliest childhood memories is of my mother taking me to nursery school in 1968 – I went to the Greenhouse Nursery School, which is across Columbia’s campus. We were turned back at the gates by the Columbia riots. That was sort of my snow day. When I graduated from Harvard, deciding what to do next, I...[read on]
Learn more about the novel and its author at Joshua Henkin's website.

The Page 69 Test: Matrimony.

Writers Read: Joshua Henkin (August 2009).

--Marshal Zeringue