Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Kathleen Tessaro

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kathleen Tessaro attended the University of Pittsburgh before entering the drama program of Carnegie Mellon University. In the middle of her sophomore year, she went to study in London for three months and stayed for the next twenty-three years. She began writing at the suggestion of a friend and was an early member of the Wimpole Street Writer’s Workshop. Her debut novel, Elegance, became a bestseller in hardback and paperback. All of Tessaro's novels (Innocence, The Flirt, The Debutante, The Perfume Collector, and most recently, Rare Objects) have been translated into many languages and sold all over the world. She returned to Pittsburgh in 2009, where she now lives with her husband and son.

Recently I asked Tessaro about what she was reading. Her reply:
I'm reading a couple of books at the moment, mostly as research and inspiration for my next novel but my favorite is The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig. I'm trying to get my head round Vienna at the turn of the century, the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the place the Jews held in that society before World War II. As an Austrian Jewish novelist and playwright, Zweig paints an unnerving portrait of a secure, well-regulated, highly sophisticated world seemingly impervious to change and utterly unaware of its own fragility. It's also a love letter to a vanished era, a golden age in which Vienna flourished, artistically and intellectually before succumbing to the most barbaric atrocities just decades later. The juxtaposition is haunting and terrifying.
Visit Kathleen Tessaro's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Perfume Collector.

The Page 69 Test: Rare Objects.

--Marshal Zeringue