Where did you live between the ages of 9 and 12? Tell us a bit about it.
I grew up a tiny town in rural New Jersey. No stop lights. Just a handful of stop signs actually. 14 kids in my entire grade. Firehouse breakfast on the first Sunday of the month. The whole town would come out for the Halloween Parade and the Christmas Tree lighting. Mrs. Rambo at the general store would always give us a handful of Swedish fish when we went in to pick up the groceries. It was a beautiful way to grow up. I confess though the entire time I plotted how would move to New York City, get an apartment, write novels, never marry, and take a series of lovers. Well I probably only plotted about the lovers after age 14 or so…
Who is the person closest to you? Why?
When you are a single woman in your forties, you either have cats or gays. I have the latter: Mike and Joe. We’ve been together for much longer than my 40s thankfully and training my daughter up so she can take care of all of us in our dotage. They’ve shepherded me through every heartache, celebrated every success, dissected every issue of deep or shallow interest at great length, and they’ve been loving, ever-present uncles to my daughter. They make me laugh so hard I cry. They proofread every word of my dissertation for pete’s sake. There is no truer act of love. And I love them just as fiercely.
What was the best compliment you received?
“You are architecturally significant.” From an engineering student, freshman year of college.
What is the worse thing your mother ever made you eat as a child?
My generous mother has never been a happy morning person and yet when we were little she would often get up and make us a hot breakfast on cold winter mornings. Sadly, by the time I got my sorry self to the table, it had usually congealed into a gag-inducing gloppy mess of cold cream of wheat.
Describe your best experience in a foreign country.
When I was 16 years old, my first love, an English boy, kissed me at the top of the Eiffel Tower one fall evening, all of Paris glittering below us. I saw him recently for the first time in 29 years. He’s a married banker with 4 kids now. And every bit as handsome and funny and kind as he was back then.by