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Sara HoughtelingDescribe your latest project.
Pictures at an Exhibition, my first novel, tells the story of a family of Parisian Jewish art dealers whose art collection is looted during World War II. Much of it is based on real stories of people I met in France and on the historical documents that remain after the war.
When I was 19, I worked as a telemarketer for a bottled-water delivery company. For every five successful calls we dialed, we were allowed to leave half an hour early. I made roughly 600 calls a day and never left more than an hour before closing time. The girl next to me was named Paris, and I noticed that she did very well. I began changing my name for every place that I called: for the firehouse, I was Prometheana; for the florist's, Lilly or Rose; Ophelia for the bookstore. My co-workers had no idea what my real name was. It was the summer of Ted Kaczynski. They grew suspicious.
Introduce one other author you think people should read, and suggest a good book with which to start.
Offer a favorite sentence or passage from another writer.
When Ted Tice first left home for university, his mother had said to him, 'Tha dustn't have to say owt about the shop. If tha dustn' want.' They had stared, like children playing to see who will blink first.
What is your favorite indulgence, either wicked or benign?
Share an interesting experience you've had with one of your readers.
Name the best television series of all time.
Aside from other writers, name some artists from whom you draw inspiration and talk a little about their work.
Recommend five or more books on a single subject of personal interest or expertise.
Six Books with Museums:
Utz by Bruce Chatwin
Middlemarch by George Eliot
The Lost Museum: The Nazi Conspiracy to Steal the World's Greatest Works of Art by Hector Feliciano
The American by Henry James
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
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Sara Houghteling is a graduate of Harvard College and received her master's in fine arts from the University of Michigan. She is the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to Paris, first place in the Avery and Jules Hopwood Awards, and a John Steinbeck Fellowship. She lives in California, where she teaches high school English.