Q: What kind of non-fiction do you like to read and how does it affect the fiction you write?
A: My nonfiction reading is mostly autobiography and biography. I’m interested in the ways that people shape their life stories, and how and why they tell them — to themselves and to others. In my fiction, I like to explore trickster characters for whom lying is an art form; characters who delude themselves (often for self-preservation); and people who create stories of the future that serve as roadmaps, often for the organizations they lead. Many of my stories, including “Rowboat”, involve family secrets. I was deeply influenced by Russell Baker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiography Growing Up. Baker’s stories about the Depression era helped me understand my parents and grandparents, who didn’t want to talk about those hard times. As the child of a Jewish parent, I was fascinated by Art Spiegelman’s ground-breaking graphic novel Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.