Do you think interviewing yourself is like talking to yourself? The way your Grandma Stanton mumbled in the kitchen when she made English tea and challah toast?

Maybe.

 

What did you do today?

I got a mammogram, which is always a traumatic (but not physically painful) experience. Did a lot of waiting before the mammogram with about ten women, most of them older than me, all of us in white robes that said “Memorial Breast Center” in yellow stitching in the corners above our breasts (of course), all of us sitting in a little room with magazines pretending not to see each other. I wasn’t nuts about the silence and had to say hello and ask questions and comment on the place and suggest to the other women that things would be nicer if they stocked the room with good wines and fancy chocolate instead of People magazine and Modern Bride. Modern Bride? The average age in the room was sixty-five, I thought. Eventually the women did start talking to each other and by the time my name was called, one woman was actually crying, talking about her son’s depression, and I thought that crying and having a discussion, no matter how sad, was better than sitting there in stony silence.

 

What are you working on now?

I’m writing a new novel called Hurry. It’s about a group of people who are genetically predisposed to illness and/or early death.

 

Sounds terribly depressing.

Aren’t you supposed to be asking questions? Please don’t comment on my books in progress. It’s hard enough to sit there day after day writing—I don’t need your negative voice in my head.

 

Okay, okay. Let’s talk about the Abigail Iris series.

Fine.

 

You’re writing childrens’ novels these days with your friend and colleague Suzanne Greenberg. They’re about a girl named Abigail Iris and her adventures in Long Beach. Your mom’s name was Iris, right?

 

Right. The second book in the series Abigail Iris: The Pet Project is coming out next month with Bloomsbury/Walker. The first one’s out now in paperback.

 

I read A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That and am surprised that you’re able to talk to ten year old girls. I wouldn’t think you’d ever write childrens’ stuff.

Why do you say that?

 

Your novel had too much sex in it. And your book of stories was dark and had too much sex too.

What’s too much sex?

 

It was overt.

Yes, well. You know, I don’t like your attitude.

 

Sorry. What else are you doing? How’s David?

David’s great. He finished a third manuscript of poems and is sending it out to publishers and is also working on a third YA novel.

 

How are your cats?

Diego and Sadie are wonderful company.

 

What are you reading now?

I’m reading a book of essays called Complications by this young doctor named Atul Gawande. Grisly and beautiful at once. I’m also reading Amy Hempel’s collected stories. Love her.

 

How’s Long Beach?

78 degrees today and it’s February. I love the LBC.

 

What plans do you have for tonight?

Dinner with David, watching the Olympics, prep for school tomorrow, finishing this interview and emailing it off to the lovely Stacy Bierlein.

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LISA GLATT is the author of the novel A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That and the short story collection The Apple's Bruise, both published by Simon & Schuster. Her poetry collections include Shelter and Monsters & Other Lovers. Lisa's work has appeared in such magazines as Zoetrope, Mississippi Review, Columbia, Indiana Review, Pearl, and The Sun. Her first children's novel Abigail Iris: The One and Only, cowritten with her colleague and friend Suzanne Greenberg, was published by Bloomsbury/Walker in 2009 and their second novel in the series, Abigail Iris: The Pet Project is forthcoming in March 2010. Lisa teaches at California State University, Long Beach and is married to writer David Hernandez.

5 responses to “Lisa Glatt: The TNB 
Self-Interview”

  1. Lisa Lisa! Can’t wait to see you in Los Angeles in June (I’m out June 4-11), and I’m seriously going and getting Abigail Iris right now!

  2. Cheryl Strayed says:

    Lisa, darling, you are brilliant and funny and beautiful ALWAYS. Thank you for this. And HURRY with HURRY. Your fans are dying to read it. Will you and David get in a car and drive on up to Portland, please? The people of Portland need you (or at least four of them do).

  3. Tod Goldberg says:

    I was hoping you’d ask yourself: If you and your husband had a child, what famous author would the child resemble?

  4. shirley babior says:

    I knew your mother from jr high and high school.

    Can you tell me anything about her death. I was dealing with my husband’s cancer and subsequent death, visited her in La hospital when the dx was new.

    I also wondered about your father, who I also knew.

    Shirley Babior

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