Tabs open on your screen right now:
-a novel set in Cyprus
– Ali Smith’s talk in accepting the Goldsmith prize
-a bell that rings randomly to remind me of gratitude.
If you had to brag about yourself:
I like to read minds.
Your writer crush:
The minds of James Baldwin, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Kazuo Ishiguro, Don Delillo, Elizabeth Bishop, Toni Morrison, and why not Homer, Rumi, Shakespeare, Cervantes, George Eliot, Cavafy, Coetzee, Doris Lessing, and Hannah Arendt, all rolled into one.
When I was a little girl/I wanted everything ideal.
Any place in the world:
Old City, Nicosia, Cyprus.
Figs, halloumi, mineral water, Cyprus coffee.
Favorite online places right now:
Wherever you are.
Children not eating poisoned cookies.
Your rituals (writing or not):
Considering what rituals (writing or not) to employ.
Least impressive thing about you:
The backseat of my car.
Favorite space to write:
The shed I’m not using.
What should we know:
Everyone has a private utopia.
Guilty literary pleasure:
Every friend’s book surpasses all wisdom known to humanity: I lack objectivity. Looking forward to THE CAPTIVES by Debra Jo Immergut, not a guilty pleasure, just a new landmark. Loved and admired PAGES FOR HER and THE FORGETTING TIME.
Best book nobody talks about:
Not Knausgaard. Definitely G. Cabrera Infante’s VIEW OF DAWN IN THE TROPICS. Jennifer Tseng’s MAYUMI AND THE SEA OF HAPPINESS. Machado de Assis EPITAPH OF A SMALL WINNER. Ali Smith’s THERE BUT FOR THE. Anything by RK Narayan. Pankaj Mishra’s THE ROMANTICS. Pedro Juan Gutierrez’s DIRTY HAVANA TRILOGY. Lydie Salvayre’s THE COMPANY OF GHOSTS. Anything by Kamila Shamsie. Hilary Plum WATCHFIRES. Gina Berriault’s WOMEN IN THEIR BEDS. Grace Paley’s LITTLE DISTURBANCES OF MAN. Melissa Pritchard’s A SOLEMN PLEASURE. Malcolm Lowry’s UNDER THE VOLCANO. Jill Alexander Essbaum’s HAUSFRAU
Character (TV, book, movie) you most identify with:
A woman serving fritters from a trailer in a long-ago Dutch movie.
A woman selling newspapers on a Paris street.
A daughter on a ship, reencountering her father.
A woman in a Brooklyn lot.
Last time you lied:
Saying I’d like to be more like John McPhee with a hunter’s capacity to defer writing for a semester on, a semester off.
Question you secretly want to be asked:
What is the biography of shame in your life?
The rest of my writing.
Edie Meidav is the author of KINGDOM OF THE YOUNG, a collection of short fiction with a nonfiction coda, as well as these novels: LOLA,CALIFORNIA (FSG); CRAWL SPACE (FSG); THE FAR FIELD: A NOVEL OF CEYLON (Houghton). She is a senior editor at the journal Conjunctions and teaches in the UMass Amherst MFA program.