The WORD Interview: John Wray

May 20, 2009

John Wray, author of the popular and much praised new novel, Lowboy, appeared at our store earlier this month. He did a short interview with us before the main event, but some how we never got around to posting it. Last night’s event author, Joanna Rakoff, mentioned in her WORD Interview that she plans to read Lowboy soon (you should too!) That reminded us to get this short Wray Q&A up and out there for ya all. So here is is:

1) Do you have a favorite WORD?

Currently, my favorite word is ‘lumbago’. I don’t know exactly why. I don’t suffer from lumbago myself, or know anyone who does. Does lumbago even exist anymore?

2) What WORDS do you live by?
I guess you could say I live my all words (or at least all English words) in equal measure, since without them I’d be out of a job. As far as ‘words to live by’ go, I’ve always been partial to this Iroquois saying: “If you sit long enough by the banks of the river, the corpses of your enemies will eventually float by.”

3) What was the last book you read?
The last book I read was ‘In Praise of Leisure’, by Bertrand Russell. Highly recommended.

4) Any idea what you’ll read next?
I’m about to start reading ‘Pretty Monsters’ by Kelly Link.

5) What is the last book you bought someone as a gift?
The last book I bought someone as a gift was ‘Then We Came To The End’ by Joshua Ferris.

6) Where did you buy it?
I bought it in Penn Station, about three and a half minutes before my train pulled out. It turns out that three and a half minutes is not, in fact, enough time to board that particular train from that particular bookstore.

7) What are you working on now – anything you can tell share about your next project(s)?
I’ve just started a big fat book about a family of crackpot physicists. I’m thinking of calling it “A Not-So-Brief History of Time”, but maybe that’s not such a good idea.

8) Do you have a favorite spot in Greenpoint?
My favorite spot in Greenpoint is probably my friend Chris’ apartment. He has a ping pong table in his kitchen.


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