Some of you already know and love Ruth Pennebaker who can be so delightfully dry that she makes the desert seem like a Moist Towlette in a bucket of lemonade. (Aside: that last sentence is proof that I made no New Year's resolutions to work on similes.) Well, Ruth's got a brand new book out, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough, a novel about... you know what, I'm going to let her tell you what it's about. You can also go hear her read from the book this Sunday, January 23, 2011, at BookPeople at 6th and Lamar, 3 p.m. Ruth's been a buddy of mine for years and good lord you should hear some of the stuff that comes out of her mouth/pen. She's written some great pieces for NYT, including an article about how to spend 36 Hours in Austin and another about her secret Rules for Pool, which she shares with her husband Jamie, who also happens to be a writer, and a damn good one. But enough about Jamie.
Getting back to Ruth. I asked her if she'd join me on my maiden voyage of posting Q & A's with writers here. I can't say for sure what these Q & A's might take the form of over time, though I can promise I will never exhibit the asshole-ish tendencies of Deborah Solomon as she struggles, every Sunday in NYT Mag, to prove she is more important than every single person she "interviews" (read: condescendingly mocks).
No mocking here. Ruth is smashing and I'm delighted and grateful she came out to play. And so, without further adieu, our conversation.
Spike & Ruth, Sittin' in a Tree
an email exchange...
(Aside from Spike: below we discuss a video Ruth made to promote her book. You can see that video here. Or if you read down a ways you'll see that I figured out how to upload it. Yay me!)
|Algonquin-- Ruth took this picture which is why you don't see her in it.|