Monday, June 18, 2007

Lynne Tillman

Lynne Tillman is Professor/Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English at the University at Albany. Her novels include American Genius, A Comedy (2006), No Lease on Life (1998), which was a New York Times Notable Book of 1998 and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Cast in Doubt (1992), Motion Sickness (1991), and Haunted Houses (1987). She also publishes short stories, essays, and other non-fiction.

I recently asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
I'm reading Tony Judt's Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945.... This book is extraordinary in its depth and succinctness. Thirty million people in Europe were homeless or displaced, or stateless, after the war ended. Histories remind me that there have always been disastrous times. That is sort of comforting during our disastrous one.

I'm reading Javier Marias' A Heart So White, whose style and intelligence I admire. I wish it compelled me more. I think it's the concern with marriage, its effect on the protagonist's supposed autonomy, but I'm not sure, I go in and out of it. Attracted and annoyed or repelled. But I will finish it, in part because of my ambivalence.

I'm soon to begin Matthew Sharpe's new novel, Jamestown. And I am also very eager to read Lydia Davis' new collection of stories, Varieties of Disturbance.
The Page 69 Test: American Genius, A Comedy.

--Marshal Zeringue