Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Amber Dermont

Amber Dermont is the author of the novel, The Starboard Sea, and the short story collection, Damage Control. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Dermont received her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston.

From her Q & A with Lucy Walton at Female First:

Which writers can you credit as being an influence to your own work?

In terms of the great dead, the fiction writers I go back to over and over again are Gustave Flaubert, Colette, Marcel Proust, Edith Wharton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Evelyn Waugh, James Baldwin, John Cheever, Patricia Highsmith, Dorothy Parker, Octavia Butler, Barry Hannah and David Foster Wallace. In terms of contemporary authors, I admire the attitude and daring of AM Homes, Jeanette Winterson, Samuel R. Delany, Andre Dubus III, Reginald McKnight, Sherman Alexie, Jhumpa Lahiri, JM Coetzee, Jim Crace, Michael Martone, Sabrina Orah Mark. What I love most is when a novel or story moves me so deeply that I realize how much harder I need to work to have a similar influence on a reader.

What was your background before you became a professor?

My parents are rare book dealers. I grew up in a house filled with first editions and I was sort of doomed to become a writer. Most of my childhood was spent visiting bookstores, antique stores and auctions. As a result, I have great appreciation for literary history and am grateful for all of the rare books, letters and literary ephemera that have been passed down to me. My family lives by the water and the ocean has been the most defining feature of my life. Early on, I knew that I wanted to use my own experiences ...[read on]
Read more about The Starboard Sea, and visit Amber Dermont's Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: The Starboard Sea.

--Marshal Zeringue