An_Interview_with_Susan Orlean-1

An_Interview_with_Susan Orlean-1 - An Interview with Susan...

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An Interview with Susan Orlean: “The Nature of the Curious Mind” John Boe Like many people, I discovered Susan Orlean in The New Yorker. Time and again, I would be grabbed by an interesting beginning and find myself immersed in an article on a subject I thought I had no real interest in (show dogs, a grocery store, a hair salon, a record store). Then I would look to see the author, and it would always be Susan Orlean. She is able to make an amazing range of subjects compelling. It is a tribute to her storytelling ability that she is one of the rare nonfiction writers whose work has been turned into movies ( The Orchid Thief into Adaptation , “The Surf Girls of Maui” into Blue Crush ). She began as a writer after graduating from the University of Michigan, getting a job writing music reviews and features for Willamette Week in Portland and also writing for national publications like Rolling Stone and the Village Voice. Subsequently she moved to Boston, writing for the Boston Phoenix and then the Boston Globe , where, as a cultural outsider, she wrote a regular column about New England; these columns were collected in a now out-of-print book Red Sox and Bluefish: And Other Things That Make New England New England (last time I looked it was going for $134.80 and up on Amazon). She subsequently published a fascinating collection of stories of what Americans do on Saturday night, Saturday Night, then moved to New York and became a staff writer for The New Yorker. While she primarily publishes in The New Yorker , she also occasionally writes for other magazines (like Vogue and Outside ). In 1998 she published her best known book, The Orchid Thief. A number of her magazine profiles were collected in The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup : My Encounters with Extraordinary People. And, more recently, her travel writing has been collected in My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a Woman Who’s Been Everywhere. I interviewed Susan Orlean at her beautiful Boston home. While she is probably my favorite non-fiction writer, I was nonetheless surprised at how very knowledgeable and articulate she was about her own writing. Talking with her was for me a Holden Caulfield experience: getting to talk with a favorite writer and finding the author just as good in person as on the page. WOE : I appreciate you talking to me because I know how busy you are with your new book, My Kind of Place , and soon to be new baby and a deadline as well. ORLEAN : Normally it wouldn’t be so much of an issue, but I’ve had a horrible time with this story that’s due tomorrow. It’s finally rolling, but I’ve had a lot of trouble concentrating and I just suddenly went into a panic and cancelled basically everything. WOE
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This note was uploaded on 01/12/2011 for the course UWP 104f taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '09 term at UC Davis.

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An_Interview_with_Susan Orlean-1 - An Interview with Susan...

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