Sunday, November 18, 2012

Benjamin Anastas

Broke, his promising literary career evaporated, Benjamin Anastas is hounded by debt collectors as he tries to repair a life ripped apart by the spectacular implosion of his marriage, which ended when his pregnant wife left him for another man. Such is the story Benjamin Anastas recounts in his new memoir, Too Good to Be True.

From the author's Q & A with Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg for the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog:

Why did you write a memoir that you knew would expose the most painful corners of your life to public comment?

Benjamin Anastas: I had no choice. I was trying to write fiction and either editing things to death or throwing it out. The circumstances of my life were tough. I was out of money, I had increasing bills to deal with every month, and magazine editors, at least those who were still working, weren’t answering my emails. I couldn’t think of anything else. I thought my only option was writing about what had happened in my life.

Why did you think people would be interested in your story?

I thought that a book that was artful and spoke to other people’s concerns would be something others would read. What gave me the courage to go forward was knowing we were going through a ridiculously hard recession, and that a lot of people had found themselves in a place in life where they never expected to be. At the age of 40 you’ve got a kid to feed and nothing to feed him with. I thought if I could write about that truthfully, from the inside, if I could somehow make my own experience universal, it would be something that people wanted to read. I wanted it to be more than about my own failures. Most people at some point find themselves in a place where they ask...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue