Some favorite books: 03 (Valtat), Briar Rose (Coover) Autobiography of Red (Carson) W or the Memory of Childhood (Perec) Down the Rabbit Hole (Villabos) This is How You Lose Her (Diaz) How German Is It (Abish) Homo Faber (Frisch) anything by Sebald, Boll and Perr Petterson, Mr. Fox (Oyemi)
Just a little FYI,
I was born of British and Maori descent in New Zealand and moved with my family to New York City in 1977. Both places are home.
My working life began at age 17 as a reporter and writer. I also worked for one day at age 22 at Christie’s auction house before running away to Oxford, Mississippi; there I worked in the hospital emergency room and at Square Books. At 23 I ended up in Greenwich, Connecticut.
I am not telling you everything. However, I also at a certain time worked on Wall Street as an assistant to Head of Investment Banking of Smith Barney and, swiftly thereafter, uptown at the Union Theological Seminary as assistant to Black Liberation Founder Reverend Dr. James H Cone. I encouraged Dr. Cone to visit a prison, as he had never been inside one, and I had been inside several to visit family.
It was hard to find work in New Zealand after being the assistant to the Head of Investment Banking at Smith Barney for two years. The agency I applied to was not impressed that I had no formal qualifications in Microsoft Word. I ended up living mostly on book reviews. There was also the matter of the Tawa Library but as I said, I don’t have to tell you everything.
My most radical job came when I lived in remote outback Western Australia in 2011-2012. My husband and I set up an aboriginal owned art center out of a tin shed. That is no exaggeration. See shed, left and Wirnda Barna. Also I became, most improbably, a DMV officer and while in the building (so to speak) a guide to gold prospectors, criminals, mining billionaires and kangaroo hunters. One particular kangaroo hunter worked with a rifle out of his truck. I remember particularly disliking him — and when I asked about his attitude was told he had served time for shooting his first wife dead.
My favorite city is Madrid and my favorite place where I now live, at least part of the time: Irondequoit, New York on Lake Ontario.
Also, I read poetry for Tin House. Tin House is the best!
And women writers, check out/submit to: 52 Men the Podcast.