Thursday, May 08, 2008
On the Shelf with Sloane Crosley
Sloane Crosley's new book of essays ,entitled I Was Told There'd Be Cake,introduces us to the unique thoughts and ideas that make up her interestingly humorous inner world, like why one night stands always seemed to be so glamorous, (family viewings of Twin Peaks may have something to do with that) or the fear that upon her untimely death, the kitchen drawer stash of toy ponies that she had will be discovered.
Her book is a charmingly funny read,full of wit and pop culture references galore. I Was Told There'd Be Cake is the kind of smart and sassy read that would be spotted in the hands of Rory and Lorelai Gilmore,if the Gilmore Girls were still on the air. I do like to think that Rory would be reading this as she travels across the country covering the Obama campaign,as the finale told us she would.
Sloane has had essays published in such publications as The Village Voice,Salon and The New York Times. She's also the Associate Director of Publicity at Vintage/Anchor Books in New York,where she also currently lives. I'm pleased and grateful to have gotten the chance to ask her a few of my questions:
1)What is it about the art of essays that appeals to you as a writer?
I like the idea that the essay allows you to explore an idea are far as you want without being beholden to the pressures of moving a larger plot along. It also lets you take a detailed snapshot of a story and expand it out so that it has a wider application.
2)In one of the essays in I Was Told There'd Be Cake,you expressed some regret over a missed childhood opportunity to live in Australia. As an adult,have you gotten the chance to travel there and if so,did it live up to your earlier expectations?
Well, I have had the chance but not the funds. However, as we all know from
Rainman, Quantas is the only airline that's never crashed (or at least it was
when that movie was made). So perhaps it's worth finally springing for a
ticket around the globe.
3)Another essay has you searching for the deeper meaning behind the reason that your mother named you after a character in a Charlton Heston movie. If you were to name someone after a film character,who would it be and why?
Perhaps it comes from having a name like "Sloane," but I love the name Jane.
I guess the grass always had less vowels on the other side. Coincidently
this is the name of the female lead in one of my favorite films, Noah
Baumbach's "Kicking & Screaming." Though I might look to a more classic film,if the opportunity to birth and name a kid ever presented itself to me.
4) On your website,several dioramas that you made that tie into the theme of certain essays in the book can be seen. Were they created during the writing of each essays or after?
After. I wanted to do something fun for the site and crafted dioramas based on the three essays which I felt had the most visual cues.
5) Who are some of your favorite writers?
That's tough so I'll just go with living fiction writers: Lorrie Moore, Don
Delilo, Haruki Murakami, Joan Didion, Colson Whitehead, Russell Banks.
6) Do you think that you'll ever write any fiction in the foreseeable
Ah, scout's honor, I had not read this question before I answered your last
question. Obviously, I am a fiction fan and would love to move into that
7) You used to keep a kitchen drawer full of toy ponies given to you by boyfriends;which one of the ponies was your favorite?
There was one that was kind of a retro pony. Or at least it was packaged this way, to look like it was made of tin, and it came in some very ironic packaging. I miss that one the most.
Thank you,Sloane,for such a delightful conversation and please visit her official website for the book to find out more about it,as well as get a few tips on making your own specially themed diorama:
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