Describe your latest book.
Blue Plate Special is the autobiography of my first half-century of life, with food as the subject. I wanted to write a food book for many years, partially in homage to the great M. F. K. Fisher, whose books had sustained me through dark and lonely times. As I started to write about food, my own life became the scaffolding and structure, since food and memory are as intertwined for me as food and language.
What's the strangest or most interesting job you've ever had?
In 1990, when I had just arrived in New York City as a wet-behind-the-ears 20-something girl from Arizona, I spent a year or more working as the personal secretary and secret ghostwriter to an American-born countess in her apartment on the Upper East Side. She was terrifying, fascinating, maddening, and glamorous; I was hapless, hung over, scruffy, and ambitious. That job became the inspiration for my first novel, In the Drink.
Offer a favorite sentence or passage from another writer.
"In your memoir, no one should look like an asshole but you." – Rosie Schaap
How do you relax?