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Authors, readers, critics, media — and booksellers.


Powell’s Q&A: Jennifer Haigh

Describe your latest book.
News from Heaven is a collection of 10 short stories set in and around Bakerton, the western Pennsylvania coal town that was the setting for my second novel, Baker Towers.

What's the strangest or most interesting job you've ever had?
Cleaning office buildings at night.

Offer a favorite sentence or passage from another writer.
Two come immediately to mind, both by Don DeLillo. The first is from Underworld: "Longing on a large scale is what makes history."

The second is from Libra: "There is a world inside the world."

Have you ever made a literary pilgrimage?
When I landed in Iowa City in 2000, I couldn't stop thinking of Denis Johnson's story collection Jesus' Son. It wasn't exactly a pilgrimage, since I had other reasons for being there, but I saw his stories everywhere.

What is your favorite indulgence, either wicked or benign?
My boyfriend's homemade bread, straight out of the oven, with copious butter.

Name the best television series of all time.
HBO's The Wire. It's the best novel I've ever seen.

Who's wilder on tour, rock bands or authors?
Rock bands. (Good Lord, let's hope so.)

Dogs, cats, budgies, or turtles?
Dogs, of course.

Five great short story collections:
Liars in Love by Richard Yates
You Think That's Bad by Jim Shepard
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro
Dusk and Other Stories by James Salter
I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down by William Gay

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Jennifer Haigh is the author of The Condition, Baker Towers, and Mrs. Kimble, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. Her short stories have appeared in the Atlantic, Granta, the Saturday Evening Post, and many other publications. The short story collection News from Heaven is her latest book.

Books mentioned in this post

Jennifer Haigh is the author of News from Heaven: The Bakerton Stories

2 Responses to "Powell’s Q&A: Jennifer Haigh"

    DeniseB March 9th, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I had the pleasure of meeting the enchanting Ms. Haigh and I must tell you, not only is she a wonderful author, she is a beautiful reader of her material. I LOVE her book "Faith" and give it to everyone I think will read it! Jennifer, I made a literary pilgrimage to Powell's last year and met Rachel Maddow - so incredible. I could live in Powell's if they would only allow it :)) (or with the very sweet and wonderful Adrienne) Of course, I made the six hour trip to meet you here in Ohio and it was sooo worth it!! "Faith" became even more alive for me to hear you read from it. I just reread Mrs Kimble...now reading News from Heaven and loving it too! Finding an author that writes directly to your taste is an amazing thing, please give her a read if you get the chance, you will not be sorry!!

    Isabell Ervin June 4th, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    I recently finished reading a book by Shayne Parkinson titled Sentenced to Marriage. It was the first book I've read by this author and I would like to read the books subsequent to the above title, but I want to read them "in order". Can you give me the titles in subsequent order?

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