Friday, May 1, 2009

Nancy Bachrach

Nancy Bachrach worked in advertising in New York and Paris, spinning hot air like cotton candy, glorifying her clients’ beloved denture adhesives and powdered orange-juice substitutes. Before that, she was, sequentially, a clumsy waitress at Howard Johnson’s, an overzealous customer service rep fired for making genuine apologies, a stenographer for an insomniac poet, and a teaching assistant in the philosophy department at Brandeis University, where she was one chapter ahead of her class. Her new book is The Center of the Universe.

Recently, I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
I’ve been re-reading books about crazy mothers, since Knopf has just published one on mine — the self-proclaimed “Center of the Universe.” Christina Crawford struck the mother lode with Mommie Dearest. She didn’t invent literary matricide, although she certainly brought it into modern times. Her pen is a blunt instrument. And although that book could have killed her mother, Christina waited until Joan was dead — embalmed, not just acting — before mauling her on the page. My own book has no wire-hanger scene, and it’s not a revenge-memoir, but I couldn’t resist dragging a few old things out of the metaphorical closet....
Visit Nancy Bachrach's website.

--Marshal Zeringue