How do you get up in the morning?
Sit up, swing legs out of bed, step on dog.
Do you succumb to nostalgia?
Nope. It succumbs to me.
Do you write long and cut, or short and backfill?
Short and cut.
How do you feel about your Wikipedia entry?
Happy there isn't one.
Lunch with any three people who ever lived; who do you invite?
My wife and sons.
Best piece of advice you ever received?
From Columbia, advising me to come to New York.
Disciplined or hot dog?
Procrastinating hot dog, posing as disciplined.
Have you ever been defeated by a genre?
Which classic author would you like to see kicked out of the pantheon?
I don't care about other people's pantheons, I only care about my own.
Are you okay with blood?
Yes I am, I'm very down with blood. This would be a good question to ask Siri.
Who is your imagined audience? Does it at all coincide with the real one?
People sitting in theatre seats, mostly. And yes, it does.
What country would you want to be exiled in?
Italy. Venice, specifically.
What's your favorite negative emotion?
Is your study neat, or, like John Muir's, is your desk and floor covered in "lateral, medial, and terminal moraines"?
Neater than Muir's, apparently.
What is your go-to shoe?
Fit-Flops. Yay, Fit-Flops!
What's your poison?
What's your problem?
Title of the book you're probably never going to write, but would kind of like to get around to?
A play (verse drama): Dr. Faustus D.D.S.
What are you so afraid of?
Losing or failing the people I love.
How long can you go without putting paw to keyboard?
Am sadly pawless and hate my keyboard, so I could go forever.
Do you require a high thread count?
In reality, no. Metaphorically, oh yeah.
Who reads you first?
Sexy and dangerous, or brilliant and kind?
Are we still talking about my wife? If so, sexy, brilliant and kind. If we're talking about me, make it kind but capable of passive-aggressive cruelty.
What character or story haunts you?
"The Fisherman and His Wife" by the brothers Grimm.
Does plot matter?
It matters more to most people than it does to me because I'm not very good at following it. Show me a spy novel and I'll show you a nest of knots I can't untie.
Does age matter?
Of course. It separates us, even if we don't want it to. Old people don't know more; they just know old people things. Young people know young people things. Thankfully there's some overlap.
Do you prefer to write standing, or must you lie prone in a field of dandelions with a steno pad and a good pen? Or what?
Walking and jotting.
Who is the author you'd most like to impersonate online?
Not into impersonation.
Is there a literary community?
Williamsburg, last I heard.
What's the question or questions we should have asked, had we known? What is the answer?
"Why are you bothering to respond to this questionnaire?" "Because LARB is a fantastic force for good in the literary world and I will do anything to support it."