The Fictioning Horror Sale

Powell's Q&A

Tech Q&A

Kids' Q&A


Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?

My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
  1. $16.77 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Love Me Back

    Merritt Tierce 9780385538077

Powell's Q&A | September 3, 2014

Emily St. John Mandel: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Emily St. John Mandel

Describe your latest book. My new novel is called Station Eleven. It's about a traveling Shakespearean theatre company in a post-apocalyptic North... Continue »
  1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Station Eleven

    Emily St. John Mandel 9780385353304


Powell's Q&A

Elinor Lipman

Describe your latest project.
My latest book, My Latest Grievance, is my eighth novel; it's narrated by Frederica Hatch, who was raised in a college dormitory, the daughter of two professors who are also house parents and very earnest agitators. Things go a bit haywire when Laura Lee French — new housemother, homewrecker, and ex-wife of Frederica's dad — arrives on campus and wreaks some emotional havoc.

  1. My Latest Grievance: A Novel
  2. The Pursuit of Alice Thrift
    $3.95 Used Trade Paper add to wishlist

  3. The Inn at Lake Devine
    $4.95 Used Trade Paper add to wishlist

    The Inn at Lake Devine

    Elinor Lipman

What fictional character would you like to date?
I developed quite a crush on Anthony Rubin, boy next door and Jewish high school hockey player in Frederick Reiken's The Lost Legends of New Jersey.

What is your favorite literary first line?
"I have never begun a novel with more misgiving."
—W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge

Offer a favorite sentence or passage from another writer.
When I first read Madeleine Blais's memoir, Uphill Walkers, I faxed her hilarious summer camp chapter to some friends, pre-publication. Here are just a few sentences from her wonderful book:

At camp, I became, well, famous. So great was my enthusiasm, so fulsome and nonstop my tributes to the fresh air and the scouting spirit, that when a lady from the local newspaper came to camp to do a feature story, she interviewed me as well as four other equally vocal campers. To this poor reporter, who, as a woman, was probably not allowed to cover real news (I still vainly search for her byline to this day: Enid Schwarzwald, where are you?), I chatted about the thrill of bag lunches on hikes and the opportunity to make new friends from other cultures, meaning two towns over.

Describe the best breakfast of your life.
Well, you'll think I'm pandering, but it was the salmon hash with poached eggs at the Heathman Hotel in Portland. Eggs Benedict come and go, but this is a showstopper.

What is your idea of absolute happiness?
I've recently acquired an apartment in Manhattan, and just being there, subway stop on my corner, the food, Central Park, the sheer convenience of everything makes me think that New York City was a lifelong dream I didn't know I had until it happened.

What is your favorite indulgence, either wicked or benign?
Does guilty pleasure count? I confess: American Idol.

Share an interesting experience you've had with one of your readers.
This meant a great deal to me: A reader told me, her voice choked, that her mother had been very ill, dying of cancer and in a lot of pain. She said, "I brought her home and gave her Isabel's Bed to read. Soon I could hear her laughing from the next room." spacer

  • back to top
Follow us on...

Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at