Monday, March 28, 2016

Helen Ellis

Helen Ellis is the author of the story collection, American Housewife. From her Q & A with Tim Adams for the Guardian:

Am I right in saying that the first story [from American Housewife], What I Do All Day, is drawn pretty much entirely from your Twitter feed?

You are. Twitter is the best editor I have found. I will delete a tweet in a heartbeat if it has not been retweeted, because if no one retweets, it is not funny. Reading two years of that stream I saw how it was the story of a weird, happy Mrs Dalloway, who doesn’t kill herself at the end. I taught myself a new way to write. I find stories now by paying attention to patterns in what I am tweeting. I was tweeting a lot about book clubs, so I wrote a story about that. I tweet about my cats and so that was a story too.

There are echoes of etiquette guides about the voice.

Yes. I was definitely raised with manners. You are never going to get “Ma’am”d in New York in the way you do down south. If someone calls you Ma’am in New York, they will be saying you are a bitch. I am an old-school lady. I hate to see young women hunched like crows over their telephones in restaurants. A lot ...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue