Q & A with Helen Benedict
Our last author event of the 2007 season was Helen Benedict, a neighborhood resident, writer and professor who teaches at Columbia. She is currently at work on The Lonely Soldier, a non-fiction book about female veterans of the Iraq war, which will be published by Beacon Press. But tonight Helen read from her new novel, The Opposite of Love and answered questions from the wonderful audience that braved the slushy weather to join us at Book Culture!
After the reading, we asked Helen to tell us about her own literary interests:
What have you been reading?
Lots of books about the Iraq war lately, because of the book I am working on. I did read John Berger’s latest book, Hold Everything Dear.
What are you looking forward to reading?
A book that I bought at your store today! Last One In by Nicholas Kulish is one of the only novels I know of that is set in Iraq.
What author and books do you often recommend to others?
Anything by Virginia Woolf, especially Mrs. Dalloway. George Eliot and Charlotte Bronte – always! Eliot’s Middlemarch and especially Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Villette. I’m encouraging everyone to read the new translation of War and Peace too. As far as contemporary books, two that I recommend are Andrea Levy’s Small Island and Valerie Martin’s Property.