Laura Harrington describes a cultural event to remember

21 December 2012

Laura Harrington's award winning plays, musicals, operas, and radio plays have been widely produced in the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere. Her first novel, Alice Bliss, tells the story of 15 year old Alice, whose father goes to Iraq to fight a war she doesn't believe in.

 

2012: A year in books

What is your favourite book of the year?

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain. An Army Squad is pulled out of Iraq and paraded around the country on a "victory tour," culminating in an appearance at the Thanksgiving Day Super Bowl with the Dallas Cowboys. Ben Fountain skewers American myopia, consumerism, militarism, boosterism. It is funny, smart and disturbing.

What is your favourite Picador book ever?

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton

What are you looking forward to reading most next year?

Louise Erdrich's Round House and Dave Eggers' A Hologram for the King.

2012: everything else

What was your favourite cultural event of the year?

It's happening right now at the Park Avenue Armory in NYC. Ann Hamilton has filled the enormous indoor drill hall (55,000 square feet) with "the event of a thread." There are 42 double swings, a huge diaphanous curtain which moves in response to people swinging on the swings, writers writing, listening boxes you hold to your ear. Unpredictable, fun, and hauntingly beautiful.

What is your resolution for 2013?

Finish my new book. Finish my new musical. Start the next book.

Becoming and being a writer

What would you be if you weren’t a writer?

Large animal vet: horses.

What was your favourite book as a child?

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry, the Narnia books, Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince, which I listened to on a scratchy old 78 record each Christmas. (Why was this record stored with the Christmas things? So, so sad.)

What is the book you recommend most?

Daniel Deronda by George Eliot, The Eighth Day by Thornton Wilder 

What is your favourite poem?

Gravy by Raymond Carver and Gift by Czeslaw Milosz

Where do you write?

I follow the sun around my house. Mostly overlooking the tidal Mill River which empties into Ipswich Bay.

Can you give one piece of advice to people wanting to become a writer?

Trust your instincts.

Do you read on paper or ebook?

Paper!

One book that changed your life?

Regeneration by Pat Barker, The Emperor's Last Island by Julia Blackburn

One book you have read more than once?

The Bridge Of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder

Your worst ever job?

Selling used office equipment out of a dank, dark, lonely warehouse.

 

 

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