About Janne Teller
Q. What is your birthdate?
Q. Previous occupations
A. Almost everything from shop attendant to UN peace negotiator, with airport ground-hostess, old people's home assistant and Marco-economic advisor to the Tanzanian Government in between.
Q. Favorite job
Q. High school and/or college
A. Copenhagen, Denmark
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. Nomadic, Intense: Falling - Getting up - Learning - Changing - Falling ...
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Courage is to do what I fear doing
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Feeling, sensing, thinking, learning, being - first and foremost the sensation of being alive. Of living completely with all of the being you are. This is also why I believe one can be perfectly happy even while in a very unhappy moment of life. It might sound paradoxical, but not if you see unhappiness as the sensation of letting life pass before your eyes without it touching you, uninvolved, unengaged. Unalive. As an animal in the zoo. Or a zombie. Living life is perfect happiness.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. Love scares me to death ... but I can't live without it.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. Right where I am, here at my desk in New York City; only it'd be fiction coming out of my fingers.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. Nobody really; try very much to just live my own life to the best of my abilities.
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. Nelson Mandela
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. Writing faster
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. Overcoming my child hood with my sanity intact and no resentments.
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. A cat
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. Probably you should ask other people about this one; I believe it's my fragility, but others might just as well say it's my strength.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. The life time prisoner in Faulkner's Wild Palms who saves a pregnant woman from the floods even though it costs him his one possibility for freedom.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. The unnamed lawyer in Albert Camus'' 'The Fall'
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. The way the otherwise well functioning market economy is dominating everything these days; even art.
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Trying to change the world ...; more seriously: being involved with international politics somehow, at some level or other. Otherwise, Reading, walking around the city, talking with friends, opera, travel (particularly by car), sitting in café's reading, watching people, discussing small and big matters with friends ...
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Animal psychologist
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Sincerity, courage, heart
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Broccoli - and then I'd sneak in coffee ...
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. Albert Camus Knut Hamsun Marguerite Duras William Faulkner Thomas Bernhard
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. Albert Camus "The Fall" Knut Hamsun "Victoria" William Faulkner "Wild Palms"
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Write with all of you, or don't at all.