Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ashley Prentice Norton

Ashley Prentice Norton is the author of If You Left and the critically acclaimed novel The Chocolate Money. She is a graduate of Exeter, Georgetown, and the creative writing program at New York University. She lives in New York with her husband and three children.

Recently I asked Norton about what she was reading. Her reply:
My reading is eclectic. I read both fiction and non-fiction.

Right now I’m reading:

La Valse lente des tortues by Katherine Pancol, part of a trilogy that is hugely popular in France (or was— I’m always about ten years behind everyone else). The book is about an academic who writes a novel for her sister: she gets the fame, the other gets the money. Of course, as expected, everything goes wrong.

Super Mind by Norman E. Rosenthal
This book is about all the ways in which transcendental meditation can positively affect your life. I learned TM about a year ago and it has been life altering for me. I was always scared of meditating because I had these images of staring at a candle or trying to empty my head which I found incredibly stressful, which of course, defeated the point. With TM, they give you a mantra, and you just repeat it in your head twice a day for twenty minutes, see what happens, and that’s it. The only “rule” is you can’t tell anyone your mantra. (I’m not sure what the consequence is). That seems of course kind of cultish, like a secret handshake, but at the same time pretty cool in this age of over sharing and compulsive posting.

David Foster Wallace. Anything.
It’s probably pretty pretentious to put this down since I’m really not smart enough to understand half of what he writes but what I do makes me both think and laugh. I love his take on being a writer, and being from the midwest, and wanting to isolate. He makes me feel less lonely, both when I’m working or simply out having a day in the world. I’ve read several biographies on him, parts of Infinite Jest, and am now starting Consider the Lobster and A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again simultaneously.
Visit Ashley Prentice Norton's website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue