A. I taught English on the college level for years.
A. I went to Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas, Texas, and to Baylor University in Waco.
A. Bach. Hands down. No debate.
A. One? Just one? Maybe "Notes on a Scandal." Maybe.
A. Anybody who knows me would say "I Love Lucy." But right now, I'm into this British sit com called "Outnumbered." Hysterical!
A. Never cook naked.
A. Writing--which means I'm happy a lot. Perfect? I don't know. But happy as in contented? You bet. I don't understand the Hollywood myth about the tortured writer. When I get a cup of tea and sit down at my desk, looking out at the New England woods beyond but also facing that blank screen on my computer, I'm as happy as I ever am. It also doesn't hurt to have a collie sleeping nearby. Or the person you love making lunch in the kitchen.
A. Chipmunks. You have to live as rurally as Bruce and I do to understand.
A. Paris for buzz, maybe Telluride for peace. Or Santa Fe. Oh, and Prince Edward Island. In the summer.
A. My birth mother. She saw that she couldn't provide for me and gave me up for adoption. I can't imagine making that choice.
A. Right now, the sarcastic "really?" It's got to stop. Really.
A. I went to college at 16 and graduated three years later. I don't know that that's an achievement. Mostly, it left me dazed and lost.
A. Impatience. Move on.
A. I trust people, assume everyone's telling the truth. It gets me into big trouble sometimes. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
A. I laugh a lot. Is that a trait? Or a tic?
A. I talk about books. I lead a book group at the local library and teach literature courses. Oh, and I play the piano. Ravel, mostly. And Bach.
A. Can't. Food writer, after all. If I had to eat only one thing, there would be no "rest of your days."
A. I blast Stravinsky, John Adams, and Steve Reich while I write. But also Lady Antebellum and Rascal Flatts. You can take the boy out of Texas, but not the Texas out of the boy.
A. I've taken five years to read everything Henry James ever published. That has to count for something. I've also taken three years to read Dante's Divine Comedy very slowly, really digging into the thing (and brushing up on a little medieval Italian). Now I'm off on George Eliot. But I'm also partial to Flannery O'Connor and William Faulkner. And Anthony Trollope. In terms of contemporary writers: Philip Roth, natch. Lorrie Moore, too. Anita Brookner, Louise Erdrich, David Mitchell, and Ian McEwan. I once had a thing with Salman Rushdie, but we broke up.
A. Wow, five. Can I edit this every other day? For now: Morrison's "Beloved," Faulkner's "Absalom, Absalom," James' "The Portrait of a Lady," McEwan's "Atonement," and Moore's "Birds of America."
A. Middlemarch. I reread it at all the major junctures of my life.
A. Write. Writers write. Dancers dance. Actors act. Write.
A. How come you're not fatter?