Last Sunday I bumped into Iris Smyles, the notoriously reclusive author of the new novel Iris Has Free Time, as she was leaving her favorite stationery store in New York City’s East Village. She growled and tried to move past me, but not before I persuaded her to answer five questions about the writing life.

Iris_CATI smooth my hair into a bun, pull a lint brush from my desk and run it over my sport jacket. I like to dress conservatively these days; one can conceal a lot more in professional attire, I find. I start down the hall, my modest brown pumps punctuating my stride like gentle commas separating items on the long list I’ve just posted to my blog.*