Get to Know Taylor Antrim, Author of Immunity
28 May 2015
Taylor Antrim has written two novels, The Headmaster Ritual (Houghton Mifflin, 2007) and Immunity (Regan Arts, May 2015). When not penning his own books, Antrim is a senior editor at Vogue. A fresh twist on the dystopian genre, Immunity is set in the New York City of an America ravaged by an Ebola- like pandemic. We were intrigued by the book’s setting and fast-paced story and reached out to ask Antrim a few questions:
What’s it like being a senior editor at Vogue?
Having worked at several other magazines, I’d say it’s like being called up to the majors. The standards are very high and the pace fast-fast-fast. I edit a range of features—food, politics, arts-and-culture profiles (not much fashion—they know better). I have smart colleagues; it’s a demanding environment—I love it
Tell us about this summer’s hottest new accessory, aka, your new book?
Yes! The bold jacket design blew me away. When I showed it to Vogue’s Beauty Director Sarah Brown, she immediately placed it on her desk, surrounded it with a still life of fresh flowers, snapped a picture and posted to Instagram.
That said, the story is pretty dark—a cautionary tale about one young woman’s journey through a pretty frightening near-future New York. It’s set two years after a catastrophic pandemic and the plot has elements of a medical thriller: My heroine, Catherine, has a small device implanted under her skin that is supposed to keep her immune from any outbreaks. She gets mixed up with some twisted people who cater to the outrageous whims of the 1%–and finds herself in quite a bit of peril. The story is a little violent, a little scary, a little funny, a little sexy, and definitely fast-paced.
If Immunity is turned into a movie, who would you pick to play Catherine?
How about Alicia Vikander, who came by the Vogue offices not long ago? Or Felicity Jones? Or Chloe Grace Moretz? It’d be just the thing for some ingénue looking to try a dark role on for size.
What is the name of the adorable pup on your Twitter profile pic?
Isabel! She’s a schnoodle and we call her Izzy. That picture was taken when she was a baby—but now she’s 8! Time flies. She likes to sit on my lap while I write, which helps keep me in place.
What’s your favorite restaurant in New York?
My wife and I now have two kids—a three-year-old and a newborn, which means nights out at restaurants are sadly few and far between. That said, Petite Crevette on Union St in Brooklyn has been a perennial favorite for its whole fish, and our local place, Walter’s in Fort Greene, is a go-to for oysters and martinis.
What’s the last book you read?
I read a ton, but weirdly can’t always remember the very last thing I finished. Here are two that recently knocked me out. How to Be Both by Ali Smith and Miranda July’s The Last Bad Man. Loved that Miranda July novel. I’ve also been devouring Len Deighton spy novels from the 70s and 80s—a total guilty pleasure.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
One summer I biked around Provence and up the legendary Mt. Ventoux (a famous climb in the Tour de France). As cars passed me laboring my way to the summit, the drivers kept leaning out of their windows to shout, in French, Courage! I still say that to myself all the time—when I’m sitting down to write, or heading in for a busy day at work, or just trying to get my three year old to brush her teeth. Deep breath. Courage!
If you love dystopian fiction, be sure to grab Immunity today and let us know what you think!
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Chloe is a Professional Book Nerd. She loves big words, big books, big dogs, and big adventures.