Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ben Schrank

Ben Schrank published his first novel, Miracle Man, in 1999. The New Yorker selected it as one of six debut novels in that year’s fiction issue, saying “As the ethical lines blur, Schrank makes New York seem sharp and new.” Time Magazine called it a “brilliantly observed story about the desire to live in an egalitarian world.” In 2002 Schrank published his second novel, Consent. Leonard Michaels wrote of Consent: “It is a very serious story, and, in places, it is hilarious. As for the woman at the center, she is unforgettable.” Schrank has taught at the MFA program at Brooklyn college. He was for some years the voice of "Ben’s Life," a fictional column for Seventeen magazine.

Schrank's new novel is Love Is a Canoe.

From his Q & A with John A. Sellers for Publishers Weekly:

Part of the book takes place in Brooklyn, where you grew up and live now. Would you say you’re an optimist when it comes to the future of Brooklyn?

I’m probably more concerned about the future of Brooklyn than I am about the future of publishing. I love Brooklyn, but it’s developing awfully fast and without as much governance as I think it should have.

Given the partial Brooklyn setting and the publishing focus, was this a more personal story for you to write than your previous books?

I was more concerted in my attempt to “write what I know” in this novel, but it is a less indulgent story than what is found in my first two novels. The Brooklyn setting and publishing focus are there in support of the central image of the boy in the canoe, getting advice. So it is personal in that all novels are personal, but my hope for Love Is a Canoe is that it is a true piece of...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Ben Schrank's website.

Writers Read: Ben Schrank.

--Marshal Zeringue