Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sophie Jaff

A native of South Africa, Sophie Jaff is an alumna of the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and a fellow of the Dramatists Guild of America. Her work has been performed at Symphony Space, Lincoln Center, the Duplex, the Gershwin, and Goodspeed Musicals.

Jaff's new novel is Love is Red.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
I’m on an insane deadline to finish Book Two of my trilogy and I struggle to read new books during the initial writing period. However I can’t wait to read My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. I do reread certain favorites, in between writing bouts, such as The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. I love this book; it’s the second in the Oryx and Crake trilogy but it can stand alone too. It’s set in the not too distant terrifying future. Atwood’s work is like rich piece of cake you almost can’t bear to finish, but do anyway. I recently reread Stephen King’s Everything is Eventual, a collection of wonderful frightening short stories including ‘Room 1408’ and ‘Everything is Eventual’ both of which will haunt you forever. The Likeness by Tana French--where a detective has to infiltrate a close-knit group of friends to discover a murder, which is a dream come true scenario for a writer. I also listen to the unabridged murder mysteries featuring Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple written by the legendary Agatha Christie. I adore hearing about the upper crust English in the 1930s where elegant, cultured people follow intricate plots and murder people in ghastly ways. I find these stories very comforting and they lull me to sleep at night.

Research wise, here are two books that spring to mind.

Ian Mortimer’s The Time Traveler’s Guide to the Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century.

I think this is a brilliantly written book. I also like to play around with time and concepts of time so I love the idea that we can visit the past as a tourist destination. It gives me great joy to imagine heavy set Americans wearing fanny packs teetering wildly around 14th century London before being promptly skewered by irritated knight.

Book of Revelations; New Testament

Recently I was able to make a traveling group of Born Again Christians happy. They were sitting on side of 14th street and were giving out free bibles from an ominous dark green mini van. I did a one eighty returning to collect my bible.

“We’re here every Thursday night!’ called one woman excitedly. “Come back and see us any time.”

“Enjoy Revelations!” cried a bearded man.

The best thing was that he meant it.
Visit Sophie Jaff's website.

My Book, The Movie: Love is Red.

--Marshal Zeringue