Interview with Elizabeth McKenzie, Author of The Portable Veblen

05 Feb 2016
Tell us a little bit about your new release, The Portable Veblen.

The novel concerns wealth, class, desire and family through the eyes of Norwegian-translator Veblen, her physician-fiancé Paul, and a squirrel who may or may not know more than he is letting on. There’s also an heiress to a pharmaceuticals empire and a shady-sounding deal with the Department of Defense. And some parents who are irritating. And a step-father who’s very nice.

What’s rocking your world this month?

Waiting for my book to come out! And I’m really looking forward to my “book tour” which will take me to a few places I’ve never been.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest?

Kafka. Wouldn’t it be something to hear him reading from The Trial or The Castle? Apparently he would laugh a lot when reading his own work.

What’s in your Netflix queue?

The usual great TV shows everyone is watching these days, and a documentary about Banksy.

Where is your happy place? Why does it bring you joy?

There’s a beach nearby full of frolicking dogs. I love it!

What’s on your writing desk?

There’s a huge mess on it right now—a stack to the left with drafts, a stack to the right of slightly less exciting drafts, a pile of books, some bills, a notebook, some SDHC cards, and a fossil fern.

What’s your favorite quote or scene from The Portable Veblen?

There’s a motel room scene with a woman and a squirrel that I’m not too critical of.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

Well, I have some sayings pinned to a board over my desk but they will become null if I reveal them. How about: Smile and buy books!


Elizabeth McKenzie is the author of the new book The Portable Veblen.

Connect with Elizabeth
Author Website

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