Janet Fitch wrote White Oleander first, then Paint It Black, her awesome new novel about a young punk-rock chick in Los Angeles who loses the love of her life. We have a big crush on her and her work...so we popped our quiz at her. Here's what she tossed back. She's given us enough reading suggestions to keep us busy until we're elderly ladies browsing the large-print section of the bookstore..and what amazing suggestions, from big names to, let's face it, writers we've REALLY, TRULY never heard of...wow! we feel empowered! Thanks Janet.
Who is your favorite writer that most people have never heard of?
Silvia Warner Townsend, Lolly Willowes
Sei Shonagon, The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon
Les Plesko, The Last Bongo Sunset
Mikhail Bulgakov, Heart of a Dog, The Master and Margarita
Steve Erickson, Our Ecstatic Days
Joy Williams, The Living and the Dead
Anne Carson, The Beauty of the Husband, a novel in poems
Eve Babitz, L.A. Woman
Ann Nietzke, Windowlight
George Irwin, Exquisite Corpse
Kem Nunn, Pomona Queen
Diane Wakoski, Looking for the King of Spain (poems)
Mary Rakow, The Memory Room
Denise Nicholas, Freshwater Road
Rita Williams, If the Creek Don’t Rise
Donald Rawley, Slow Dance on the Fault Line
What kid or teen books rocked your world growing up?
King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry
The King Must Die by Mary Renault
Edgar Allan Poe short stories
The Book of Marvels by Richard Halliburton
The Sword in the Stone by TH White
The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber
There were very few “teen books” per se when I was growing up, but books that appealed to me were:
The People Yes by Carl Sandburg (first book I bought with my own money)
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg
The Diaries of Anais Nin
The Group by Mary McCarthy
Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Doestoyevsky
The poetry of Diane Wakoski
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? By Horace McCann
Double Indemnity by James M. Cain
The Spy who Came In From the Cold by John Le Carre
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
What one thing do you wish you could say to your 15-year-old self?
Do something that’s brave for you, every day. Just in small ways. Take more chances, dare to be incompetent, look stupid or be rejected.
Your life is a TV series. Name the theme song.
Burger-flippers want to know: have you ever had a job that required you to wear a geeky uniform? Details, please!
Office worker outfits. I was a Manpower Temp and wore pleated skirts and high heels, nylons. I could get dressed in ten minutes-- I had two skirts and two pairs of heels, which was usually fine because I normally was only on a job for a day or two. But sometimes I was at a company for a couple of weeks, and people would start dropping hints…
We'd like to name a burger in your honor. What kind of fixins should it have?
PS... GIVEAWAY SPECTACULAR: We'll be giving away a copy of Paint It Black to a member of our B-List---and a SET of Paint It Black and White Oleander to a new member (everyone who signs up anytime between today and October 31 will be eligible). Just check out the "we deliver" box on the right side of this page to join...