Tabs open on your screen right now:
Baseball statistics site, Wall Street Journal article about weirdest baseball superstitions, twitter, thesaurus, the New Yorker, tab-that-shall-not-be-named-because-it-is-related-to-my-partner’s-birthday-present, gmail.
If you had to brag about yourself:
I’d probably say that I’m good at learning languages. But other people are always more impressed that I am a good lipreader. I find that kind of depressing, since it’s such a surface-level skill.
Your writer crush:
Zadie Smith! Big ol’ fangirl over here. Other crushes gone from this world include the poets Wisława Szymborska and Izet Sarajlić.
Favorite!? Can I play the Deaf card? Actually though I’ve had these Paul Simon lyrics from “The Boy in the Bubble” in my head all week and I have no idea why:
It’s every generation throws a hero up the pop charts
Medicine is magical and magical is art
The boy in the bubble
And the baby with the baboon heart
These are the days of miracle and wonder
This is the long distance call
The way the camera follows us in slo-mo
The way we look to us all
Any place in the world:
I don’t think I get the question, but Croatia?
Two eggs over easy with hash browns and rye toast. Or if you’re in New York, a bagel with lox. Now I want latkes. I really love breakfast.
Favorite online places right now:
The internet is such a hellhole with the election going on! But usually I like twitter. Also, Guernica, Electric Literature, The Offing, Lithub, except for that thing where they give the books letter grades—that thing is terrible. And Blunderbuss! Okay I’m biased there, but I think this current democracy-themed issue features some of our strongest stuff yet.
Coffee, snuggling, salt water ocean smell, being sucked into a book such that you lose track of time, more coffee.
Your rituals (writing or not):
Also coffee. I write longhand and then use the time for typing something up as a first pass at editing. I take a lot of walks. And I procrastinate a lot, usually by cleaning, so that it appears I have been productive. Procrasticleaning.
Least impressive thing about you:
Pretty much all my motor skills. My hand eye coordination is not cute.
Favorite space to write:
What should we know:
-Sign Languages aren’t universal. Why? because they grow up organically out of communities just like spoken languages; they aren’t gifts hearing people went around bestowing upon the Deaf. Nor are they tethered to an area’s spoken language—e.g. American Sign Language has way more in common with French sign than it does British.
-My first novel, Girl at War, has nothing to do with sign language, but it’s out in paperback now.
-I’m thinking of getting a dog. I guess you didn’t need to know that, but maybe it can be interpreted as a warning about the future of my Instagram.
Guilty literary pleasure:
I cried reading The Fault in our Stars but I feel no shame.
Best book nobody talks about:
American readers are missing out on so much good literature because we fail to translate it, or when it gets translated it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. One that comes to mind is this book from the 80’s, Tadeusz Konwicki’s A Minor Apocalypse—I read it in high school and it blew my understanding of fiction open. Also Lidija Dimkovska’s first novel in English just came out from Two Lines Press, A Spare Life—I really liked that.
Character (TV, book, movie) you most identify with:
Probably Matilda. You think I would’ve grown out of that by now. Though I wish I was Marisa Tomei’s character Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny.
Last time you lied:
I mean, that wasn’t my favorite lyric just then.
Question you secretly want to be asked:
What’s your all-time favorite TV show?
The answer: I Love Lucy. Lucille Ball was a genius; Desi Arnaz was series eye candy. What more could you ask for?