Joanna Scott is the author of nine books, including The Manikin, which was the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Various Antidotes and Arrogance, which were both finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award; and the critically acclaimed Make Believe, Tourmaline, and Liberation. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Lannan Award, Scott lives with her family in upstate New York. Her most recent novel, Follow Me, was published by Little, Brown in April.
what are you reading now
Fallen Giants by Stewart Weaver and Maurice Isserman
For the Time Being by Annie Dillard
Germinal by Émile Zola
most scribble-ridden book in your collection
My Complete Stories of Kafka (Schocken) finally fell apart and I’ve had to get a new copy, to which I’ve been adding new scribbles.
if you could write yourself into any book or story
Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa — not only would I like to experience the scenes she so vividly renders, but I would welcome the chance to compare my impression of the place and people with her version.
most treasured book in your collection
A paperback copy of Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Rolfe Humphries’ translation) that my husband gave me when we were still in college.
book you’ve planted on a coffee table to impress someone
Andrea Dworkin’s Intercourse.
if you could subscribe to only one literary journal
May I finagle two subscriptions? I depend on Conjunctions and Black Clock for my basic literary nourishment. In real life, my list of necessary reading is long — the condensed list includes Cincinnati Review, Subtropics, Threepenny Review, and The New York Review of Books. Also, The Nation and its literary section is essential.
best thing you’ve read online recently
Female Convents: Secrets of Nunneries Disclosed, compiled from the autograph manuscripts of Scipio de Ricci by Mr. De Potter, edited and condensed by Thomas Roscoe. With whole libraries and archives coming online, all sorts of secrets are on the verge of being disclosed…
most anticipated upcoming release
Forthcoming in the fall, The Rags of Time by Maureen Howard — the fourth and final volume in her tetralogy of novels.
recommended reading list:
Ten Books to Read Before Writing Your First Novel (or Ten Books I Wish I’d Read Before Writing My First Novel)
- An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
- Middlemarch by George Eliot
- Our Ecstatic Days by Steve Erickson
- This is Not a Novel by David Markson
- Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel
- Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud
- Blindness by José Saramago
- Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald
- The Waves by Virginia Woolf