Monday, May 28, 2018

Danielle Teller

Danielle Teller (formerly Morse, nee Dyck) grew up in Canada, where she and her two brothers were raised by the best parents in the world. As a child, she was a bookworm who dreamed of being a writer, but she chickened out and went to medical school instead. In 1994, she moved temporarily to America, and she has been living temporarily in America ever since. Teller attended Queen's University during her undergraduate years, and she received her medical training at McGill University, Brown University and Yale University. She has held faculty positions at the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University, where she investigated the origins of chronic lung disease and taught in the medical intensive care unit. In 2013, Teller quit her job to pursue her childhood dream of being a writer. She lives with her husband, Astro Teller, and their four children in Palo Alto, California.

Teller's new novel is All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
As a child, I was a bookworm. Then I grew up, got a job, had kids, and only had time and energy to read on airplanes or the rare beach vacation. Now that I’m a writer, I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do! My reading diet is eclectic; besides books I choose for pleasure, I also read for research, book club, because-someone-told-me-to, and I listen to audiobooks while I cook or run errands.

I’m currently reading Circe by Madeline Miller. It’s the story of the goddess Circe, most famous for bewitching Odysseus’s men in Homer's Odyssey. I’m a fan of Greek mythology, and it’s refreshing to see all of the gods and heroes through the eyes of a female character for a change! The language is beautiful and the magic thrilling. It’s rare for me not to pick apart a book in my head as I’m reading, but this one I’m just purely enjoying. The things that ruin books for me are usually plot messiness and lack of believable motivation for characters’ actions. This book has none of those problems, because Greek myths are all deus ex machina, and no god in the pantheon has ever needed a reason to do crazy sh*t.

I’m also reading The Financier by Theodore Dreiser; that one is going a bit more slowly as I’m taking notes. This novel was first published in 1912; it chronicles the rise of a financial tycoon in late 19th century America. It contains a wealth of period details, most importantly about the banking industry, that provide context for a new novel I’m writing. I like to read works by authors who lived through the periods they describe, because they lack the filter of modern sensibilities, and I can see their world clearly through their eyes.
Visit Danielle Teller's website.

--Marshal Zeringue