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Powell's Q&A

Paulina Porizkova

Describe your latest book.
A fifteen-year-old Swedish girl goes to Paris the summer of 1980 to try out as a fashion model. No, it's not about me.

  1. A Model Summer: A Novel
    $2.98 Used Hardcover add to wishlist

    A Model Summer: A Novel

    Paulina Porizkova

If someone were to write your biography, what would be the title and subtitle?
Cinderella: A True Story.

What fictional character would you like to date, and why?
I have loved many a pale French or English gentleman, and likewise, many a pale corseted Madame, Miss, or Mademoiselle. What they all seem to have in common — besides deathly pallor, propensity to languish, take laudanum, and die of tuberculosis — is the need to be rescued. And as a former supermodel, I like nothing better than to do my civil duty and rescue folks.

Writers are better liars than other people: true or false?
If the definition of a good liar is one who believes his own lies, then writers are excellent liars, at least on paper. However, socially (if one wants to make sweeping generalizations — and I love to do just that), I'd say that writers seem, generally, less competent in social circumstances than non-writers, and as such tend to make everything they say appear to be a lie.

How do you relax?
I knit and watch TV and observe the imaginary characters that populate my head especially as I knit and watch TV.

How did the last good book you read end up in your hands and why did you read it?
Jane Smiley's Ten Days in the Hills. It turned up in my hands the same way most books do: good placement in the bookstore, a catchy cover, and an intriguing inner flap.

What is your astrological sign? If you don't like what you were born with, to what sign would you change and why?
I am an Aries and as such, I'm convinced there are no other signs equally as excellent.

What is your idea of absolute happiness?
A tiny moment in time in which my sense of well-being perfectly corresponds to the well-being of the people or person near me.

What is your favorite indulgence, either wicked or benign?
Reading. I love to read so much, I always feel slightly guilty doing it; operating, I suppose, under the Catholic ethos of "anything that feels great must be sinful." Oh, and video games. I'm the queen of Tetris, rule in Civilization, have an account on Warcraft, and own an avatar in Second Life.

Why do you write?
Because otherwise I'm afraid I'd go insane. What else can I do with all these scenarios and people that crowd my brain? Plus, I like to be heard without being interrupted.

Name the best television series of all time, and explain why it's the best.
Us Trekkies have long known Star Trek held the answers to the future by pointing us to the transgressions of the past and giving us the benefit of outlining the possible potentials of our actions before we've even thought of them. And if you understood what I just wrote, you really need to have a vacation somewhere else but the next Star Trek convention.

Who's wilder on tour, rock bands or authors?
I've seen rock stars on tour. So I can only hope it's authors.

Aside from other writers, name some artists from whom you draw inspiration.
Charlie Chaplin, for being the jack of many trades and master of most.

In the For-All-Eternity category, what will be your final thought?
I know what I don't want it to be. "Damn, I forgot to..!"

Recommend five or more books on a single subject of personal interest or expertise.

Five books that will temporarily satisfy your craving for Paris:

Le Divorce by Diane Johnson

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Almost French by Sarah Turnbull

Paris Trance by Geoff Dyer

A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke

And of course, A Model Summer, bien sur! spacer

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