Rachel Zucker is the author of Museum of Accidents (Wave Books, 2009), The Bad Wife Handbook, The Last Clear Narrative and Eating in the Underworld (all published by Wesleyan University Press), as well as the co-editor (with Arielle Greenberg) of Women Poets on Mentorship. She lives in New York where she teaches poetry and is a labor doula. She’s reading at Cake Shop on Sunday, December 6th, as part of the Polestar Poetry Series.
For our readers who may not be familiar with your work, what’s the most accurate thing someone else has said about it?
Well, Sarah Manguso said, “Your book’s about the impossibility of total attention to anything. (Right?)”
That seems very accurate if a little vague.
What have you read/watched/listened to/looked at/ate recently that will permanently change our readers’ lives for the better?
My husband and I recently got rid of our cable and have mostly stopped watching television. At first this really felt like going through a painful withdrawal as I am a TV addict (especially for well produced, extended series). But, my husband is now reading aloud to me from Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin and I find that this is just as satisfying! It’s a great story, totally transporting! Also, I’m obsessed with “This American Life.” Every single show changes how I think about life.
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)?
Have you ever been a Starving Artist, and did it make you brilliant, or just hungry?
What would you characterize as an ideal interaction with a reader?
Well, here’s my favorite “fan email” I’ve ever gotten:
Hi Rachel –
Tom brought home your new collection. I think you’re fucking talented.
That is all.
Have you ever written anything that you’d like to take back?
All the love letters I wrote to boys who didn’t even read them.