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