Alicia Oltuski

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Alicia Oltuski is the author of Precious Objects. Her work has appeared on NPR's Berlin Stories, in W magazine, The Penn Review, Peregrine, and other publications. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, where she received a David Berg Foundation Fellowship, and a BA and MA from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband.

 

Joelle Phillips

Books by this Author

Precious Objects

Video

A Legacy of Diamonds

Author Alicia Oltuski takes a look at the unique world of diamond dealing.

My Life in 8 Words

Author Revealed

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. I don’t have one, perhaps because I grew up speaking two languages. Idioms and proverbs don’t tend to translate well. It was years before I learned that one doesn’t steal a parade, but rather rains on it.

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. I was recently told I have aristocratic ankles, but I’m not quite sure I know what that means.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. There’s this German children’s book called the Der Struwwelpeter, which is sort of a twisted version of a morality tale. In one of the stories, a mother warns her son not to suck his thumb and, when he disobeys one night, an evil tailor referred to as “the great, long, red-legg’d scissor-man” comes into his home and chops his thumbs off with giant scissors. Guess who was a thumb sucker when she was a little girl? Still, having long since recuperated from the terror of this story, I find the scissor-man one of the most creative and enigmatic of fictional villains. Who was his boss? I still find myself wondering sometimes.

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A. Manna.

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. Being with those you love, doing what you love to do (well)

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