David Zweig is a writer and musician living in Brooklyn. He has released two albums, All Now With Wings and Keep Going.Zweig's debut novel, Swimming Inside the Sun, was released fall 2009. Zweig, a former editor and researcher at multiple publications, including Vogue and Radar, is now at work on a documentary. He's reading on January 5th at Perch in Park Slope.
For our readers who may not be familiar with your work, what's the most accurate thing someone else has said about it?
I'm reluctant to say that flattering reviews are "accurate" (as much as I'd like to!), but I think this line from a Kirkus review captures what I aim for: "The author's prose revels in smart literary turnsâ€¦ but it packs plenty of emotional resonance."
What have you read/watched/listened to/looked at/ate recently that will permanently change our readers' lives for the better?
I just finished Shop Class As Soulcraft, an engaging book about the rewards of skilled, manual labor. If you work in a cube and find it to be soul-killing bullshit, this book actually could be a life-changer for you.
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)?
Plaxico Burress. I'm fascinated by the all-too-common mix of talent and self-destruction. [Note: I just looked on Amazon and Plax actually has a book, but it came out before he shot himself so it doesn't count.]
Have you ever been a Starving Artist, and did it make you brilliant, or just hungry?
Never starving but years ago, when I attempted to start working on the novel, too poor to stay in my apartment, I lived in a drummer's rehearsal space for six months. There was virtually no heat and I spent many a night sleeping with my winter coat on while fending off mice. When my wife (then-girlfriend)—who had a very nice apartment of her own—slept over despite all this I knew she was the one.
What would you characterize as an ideal interaction with a reader?
If I ever saw someone reading my book on the subway that would be pretty awesome. I think I'd feel like I really made it if that ever happens.
Have you ever written anything that you'd like to take back?
A few indignant emails.