Interview with Marc Grossberg, Author of The Best People
08 Oct 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, The Best People?
I don’t even think I know how to answer that. I hope it is a good read with authentic characters that will make the readers happy they read it and that there will be some things they recall from time to time that gave them insights to themselves and other people in their lives. I hope the readers can come to love the glitzy meritocracy that is Houston, Texas almost as much as I do.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
The people my parents admired most when I was young were artists, musicians and writers. I’ve been wanting to write a novel since I was 16. David Westheimer (“Von Ryan’s Express” among others ) was a relative and a novelist. I held him in the highest esteem. He encouraged my writing. There have been times when I wished the household heroes had been entrepreneurs because I don’t think I have an entrepreneurial bone in my body.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
I am going to respond not so much for greatness but for what took me in and I’m including only fiction. I’m leaving off classics because that would be pretentious and I love modern fiction anyway
Bonfire of the Vanities – Tom Wolfe
Herzog – Saul Bellow
Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
100 Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Marjorie Morningstar (Okay – give me that one and Wouk did win a Nobel Prize for Literature)
The World According to Garp – John Irving
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
Three that go together Catch 22/Slaughterhouse Five/ Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
Philip Roth and Tom Wolfe are dead, so Milan Kundera. Your work is so beautiful in English and it obviously is in the original French. I want to understand the relationship you have with your translators.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
The self-deception of having created something very good.
What is a typical day like for you?
Much different than when I was more full-time as a lawyer. If I’m in Houston, I get up when I get up, I try to work out and do my ablutions. I quit reading the paper in 2016 but I’m edging back. Lately, I think I spend at least five hours a day working on things relating to the publication of The Best People. When I go to the office, it’s usually after lunch. I frequently go to something that entertains me in the evenings and that runs the gamut from The Astros to literary readings to movies and sometimes just good conversation with bright interesting people.
What scene in The Best People was your favorite to write?
Until that question, I never thought about it but I know it is the ending scene.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
Yes. I live in the NOW. I go wherever my green light tells me the intersection might be interesting. I accept the consequences of all the decisions I have made.
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