January's Hot Writer: J. Yael Katz
My genre: Brevity. Whether fiction or personal essay these days I am trying to keep things short.
My literary influences: This week I'd say James Joyce, Margaret Atwood, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jhumpa Lahiri, Raymond Carver, Kurt Vonnegut, Shel Silverstein. And of course L.M. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables, who really turned me onto to run-on paragraphs and abusing adjectives at a young age.
My favorite literary quote: "For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." - Hamlet. I need to start carrying this quote on my person.
My favorite book of all time: Forgive me for not following directions. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez is probably tops. But close behind? Atwood's Alias Grace blows me away every time. Kurt Vonnegut's Galapagos is divine. As is The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. He pulls off a First Person Plural Narrator like a sweater on a warm day.
I’m currently reading: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. Devastating. But needed.
My guilty pleasure book: How to Be a Jewish Mother, by Dan Greenburg. It teaches you how to put the pleasure back in guilt.
I can’t write without: A pen and paper next to me. You never know when you're going to need to doodle.
Worst line I ever wrote: Quote from a poem I wrote at age 12: "Yesterday, life was so simple, so carefree. What happened to yesterday? What happened to me?" I think this was written shortly after discovering that I was the only girl in my ballet class who had "blossomed" over summer vacation. Clearly, I was having a newly pubescent moment of mortification. Leotards will do that.
Brief Bio: J. Yael Katz has a B.A. from the University of Michigan in English and Creative Writing. Until most recently, she has been taking a sojourn from publicly sharing her work, comprised mostly of storytelling, short fiction, and personal essay. She is currently accepting audiences.
A writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for sites like Pop Matters and
afterellen.com Her debut novel, “Herself When She’s Missing," was called “poetic and heartrending” by ALA Booklist. Sarah is also a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago’s StoryStudio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She's kind of looking forward to it actually.
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