The L Mag Questionnaire for Writer Types: Myla Goldberg

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08/30/2011 1:08 PM |


Myla Goldberg, of the Greater Park Slope area, is the author of the bestselling Bee Season, Wickett’s Remedy, and most recently The False Friend, which has just been released in paperback, which she’ll read from and discuss (with Darin Strauss) tomorrow night at the Greenlight Bookstore.

For our readers who may not be familiar with your work, what’s the most accurate thing someone else has said about it?
Once someone told me that reading a description I had written made him wonder if he had unknowingly dropped some kind of fast-acting LSD. Even if it was just accurate for that one guy, that pretty much made my week.

What have you read/watched/listened to/looked at/ate recently that will permanently change our readers’ lives for the better?
I recently ate my first Greengage plum, and tasting a fruit that unbelievably delicious made the world a slightly better place than it had been before. Eating it was like eating optimism.

Whose ghostwritten celebrity tell-all (or novel) would you sprint to the store to buy (along with a copy of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius so that the checkout clerk doesn’t look at you screwy)?
Give me something on Buster Keaton! You don’t think it’s too late, do you? He’s just so dreamy, and the three books I’ve already read have either been too academic, or too swooning, or too polite. I probably know most of what there is to know, but I’d love for a book that told it all juicy-like. It’s kind of a toss-up between him and Nikola Tesla.

Have you ever been a Starving Artist, and did it make you brilliant, or just hungry?
You need to specify your starving. If you mean the food kind, for me that would have been in the early 90s, but even then it was paired with the insatiable-ambition kind, which is a kind of starving I still have and think that no artist can do without.

What would you characterize as an ideal interaction with a reader?
I’d say that making a reader feel like they’ve spontaneously ingested a hallucinogen ranks right up there. Once at a bookstore, I read an intense scene about getting sick and it made someone in the audience feel queasy and light-headed. When I write something that has a visceral impact on a person, it’s pretty exciting.

Have you ever written anything that you’d like to take back?
No. Wait, can I take that back?