“The Graham Avenue Stop is Still So Italian!”

02/11/2013 9:55 AM |

Karolina Waclawiak, How to Get Into the Twin Palms
  • Matthew Porter

Karolina Waclawiak is the deputy editor at The Believer and also the author of the novel How to Get Into the Twin Palms, which Two Dollar Radio released last summer. Tonight, she reads at the Franklin Park Reading Series in Crown Heights. We spoke to her about Williamsburg and how she feels about her tweets.

What neighborhood do you live in?
I live in Williamsburg. I ended up meeting my now-husband when I lived on the Upper West Side. He convinced me to move to Graham Avenue four years ago, and we’ve been here ever since. I love the area because there are still a lot of neighborhood places and it’s very Italian. You can stop at Fortunato’s and have a cannoli or go to Emily’s Pork Store to grab some handmade sausages for dinner. Or get “the best iced coffee in New York” at Caffe Capri, which I highly recommend.

For our readers who may not be familiar with your work, what’s the most accurate thing someone else has said about it?
Sara Finnerty said, “Sex-crazed, surreal, dreamy, violent, escapist, and always searching for some kind of truth.” I would say that encapsulates most of my work.

Have you ever been a Starving Artist, and did it make you brilliant, or just hungry?
I think I may still fall in the Starving Artist category, or maybe just semi-starving. It didn’t make me brilliant, but it made me extremely driven. Or, to put it more bluntly, if you come from nothing, you inherently want it more because there’s more at stake. There’s a sense of urgency to your writing and to how you live your life. I don’t think I’d be the writer I am if I hadn’t struggled to get here.

If you couldn’t express yourself through your writing, what other medium would you choose?
Film, for sure. Hopefully, I’ll get to do both. My background is in film and so I think my writing is very visual. I’d love to have my hand in all aspects of filmmaking: writing, directing, and producing.

If this whole writing thing hadn’t worked out/doesn’t work out, what would be your ideal fallback?
I’m an editor at The Believer now and it’s really gratifying to find something, shape it, and then see people appreciate it. It brings me great joy to find unknown writers and release them into the world. So, I’d have to go with editor.

What have you read (or seen or heard or tasted or etc.) recently that will permanently change our readers’ lives for the better?
I think everyone should read Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost. That book will change your life.

What would you characterize as an ideal interaction with a reader?
I would love to create something that haunts people well after they’ve finished my book. Sort of a psychic chemtrail.

Have you ever written anything that you’d like to take back?
Probably most of my tweets.

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart

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