Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ben Greenman

Ben Greenman is an editor at The New Yorker and the author of several acclaimed books of fiction, including Superbad, Superworse, and A Circle is a Balloon and Compass Both: Stories About Human Love. His fiction, essays, and journalism have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Paris Review, Zoetrope: All Story, McSweeneys, and Opium, and he has been widely anthologized.

His new novel is The Slippage.

A couple of weeks ago I asked him about what he was reading.  Greenman's reply:
I try to imagine that I am a delicate balance that can be upset. That's hard to do, because it requires self-deception, but the result is that I try always to read two different things at the same time: maybe poetry and history at the same time, or well-wrought domestic fiction and something wildly experimental. I figure this way I'll lay tracks in two directions rather than just one. This past week I've been reading Robert Alter's Book of Psalms, because I think those are spiritual songs I feel I should understand better, and then along with them the new Walter Mosley, because it's violent and sexual and looks at relatively contemporary American culture. What I find, usually, is that the two very different things are in fact the same, that the Alter and the Mosley both touch on issues of love and faith and weakness and bravery.
Visit Ben Greenman's website.

The Page 99 Test: A Circle Is a Balloon and Compass Both.

--Marshal Zeringue