Lisa Steinke: What three words would you use to describe your book?
Alice Eve Cohen: Funny, honest, suspenseful
LS: What’s one word to describe how a reader will feel when he/she finishes the book?
LS: How did you feel when you finished writing your book?
AEC: Cathartic relief. Euphoric. Hopeful.
LS: Your book reads like a diary- so intimate and honest. How did you feel when those in the publishing industry began to read it?
AEC: Thrilled at the positive response, but very exposed. Mostly thrilled.
LS: It’s amazing that you were able to pack so much into so few pages. Did very much hit the cutting room floor?
AEC: I edited my book to the bone before showing it to anyone, trimming about a hundred pages from my first draft. When Penguin bought the book they asked me to expand it. With guidance from my brilliant editor, Carol DeSanti, I wrote fifty pages of new material, which strengthened the book tremendously.
LS: Book or Nook?
AEC: Book. I love the feel of the paper and the suspense of turning the page.
LS: What’s your guilty pleasure?
AEC: Napping in the middle of the day.
LS: What’s one thing your readers don’t know about you?
AEC: I’m a card-carrying member of the United Auto Workers, which is very strange, since I don’t own a car and barely know how to change a tire. But the UAW unionized the part-time faculty at The New School, where I teach playwriting and solo theatre. So if you want your car to learn how to write plays and perform monologues, just call on me.
LS: Where is your favorite place in the world?
AEC: Costa Rica, Florence, Mount Desert Island, Paris, Isle of Inishmaan, Yosemite, Central Park... So many places, so little time.
LS: Are you planning to write another book? If so, any hints as to what it’s about?
AEC: I’m currently writing a new memoir—working title, My Left Eye—, which is in some ways a sequel to What I Thought I Knew. Set several years after the events of What I Though I Knew, my new book is about a year from hell, a family odyssey that turned our world upside-down. A story of three generations of mothers and daughters, I peel away the onion skin, traveling back and forth in time to explore resonances between my family’s tumultuous year and events from my childhood.
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