Thursday, May 26, 2022

#MMBBR #Review #Interview #Lost&Found by @kathrynschulz via @johannarb and @randomhouse

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE • An enduring account of joy and sorrow from one of the great writers of our time,The New Yorker’s Kathryn Schulz, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

“I will stake my reputation on you being blown away by Lost & Found. It is brilliant and profound and charming, all at once.”—Anne Lamott, author of Dusk, Night, Dawn and Bird by Bird

Eighteen months before Kathryn Schulz’s beloved father died, she met the woman she would marry. In 
Lost & Found, she weaves the stories of those relationships into a brilliant exploration of how all our lives are shaped by loss and discovery—from the maddening disappearance of everyday objects to the sweeping devastations of war, pandemic, and natural disaster; from finding new planets to falling in love.

Three very different American families form the heart of 
Lost & Found: the one that made Schulz’s father, a charming, brilliant, absentminded Jewish refugee; the one that made her partner, an equally brilliant farmer’s daughter and devout Christian; and the one she herself makes through marriage. But Schulz is also attentive to other, more universal kinds of conjunction: how private happiness can coexist with global catastrophe, how we get irritated with those we adore, how love and loss are themselves unavoidably inseparable. The resulting book is part memoir, part guidebook to living in a world that is simultaneously full of wonder and joy and wretchedness and suffering—a world that always demands both our gratitude and our grief.

A staff writer at 
The New Yorker and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Kathryn Schulz writes with curiosity, tenderness, erudition, and wit about our finite yet infinitely complicated lives. Crafted with the emotional clarity of C. S. Lewis and the intellectual force of Susan Sontag, Lost & Found is an uncommon book about common experiences.

This book is quite unforgettable. It was raw, honest and dynamic. This is one of those stories that will resonate with the reader because we can all relate to losing something and/or discovering something about ourselves or the world around us.

Kathryn Schulz is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of Lost & Found, forthcoming from Random House on January 11, 2022. She won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Magazine Award in 2015 for “The Really Big One,” an article about seismic risk in the Pacific Northwest. Lost & Found grew out of “Losing Streak,” which was originally published in The New Yorker and later anthologized in The Best American Essays. Her other essays and reporting have appeared in The Best American Science and Nature Writing, The Best American Travel Writing, and The Best American Food Writing. Her previous book is Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error. A native of Ohio, she lives with her family on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Q.  What inspires your writing?


A. In general I’m inspired by all kinds of things—admiration for the natural world, an avid interest in history, an enduring amazement at the sheer fact of being alive—but in the case of my new book, Lost & Found, I was mostly inspired by the two people who form the heart of it: my astonishing father, a Jewish refugee who emerged from a childhood full of poverty and violence to become a wonderfully curious, compassionate, brilliant, joyful adult, and my equally astonishing partner, who has dazzled me from the day we met, and who gave me the great gift of inspiring me to write a love story.



Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?


A. The permission to keep learning. In the course of just the last few years, my work has given me an excuse to study the geology of earthquakes, the biology of stinkbugs, the history of the Muslim community in Wyoming, the mystery of how animals navigate around the planet, and countless more subjects, all of which I’ve found fascinating. I feel incredibly fortunate to have a job that allows me to constantly educate myself about something new.



Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?


A. Until I met my partner, I would have said that it was the loneliness. Even if you have wonderful friends and colleagues and a writing community, the work itself mostly happens inside your own head, often in long, silent stretches, and it can be difficult to spend so much time alone with your own thoughts and problems and worries and doubts. I’m delighted to say that marrying a very happy writer who is also a very gifted editor resolved that issue for me. Now the only tough part of writing is convincing myself to stop procrastinating and sit down and do it.


Q.  If you could not be a writer, what would you do/be?


A. That’s a tricky one, since I’ve wanted to write for so long—and by now have been writing for so long—that it’s hard for me to imagine myself doing anything else. But I suppose if I could pick an alternate life, I’d be some a botanist or ecologist or wildlife biologist—someone whose job involved spending a lot of time outdoors playing close attention to the natural world.  


Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?


A. Since I just wrote the story of my life, I guess it would be called Lost & Found!


Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?


A. An impossible question for a book-lover! But here are some books that have a special place in my private canon: George Eliot’s Middlemarch, Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady, James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead novels, and many, many volumes of poetry, from good old reliable Robert Frost to the contemporary oddball genius Anne Carson.  


Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?


A. I don’t know, but I can tell you that as a kid I identified strongly with Jo March, of Little Women.


Q.  What character from one/all of your book(s) are you most like?


A. Writing a memoir makes this one easy to answer: I’m most like myself!


Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?


A. T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, but only if I can choose to be in the comedic first part or the romantic second part, not the tragic final part.


Q.  What is your favorite season?


A. Spring, when everything is coming into bloom, which is also when my partner and I met. (Though our daughter was born in August, so now it’s a toss-up.)


Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?


A. I won’t spoil it, but there’s a crucial (and true-to-life) cameo by a falling star in Lost & Found, so I was thrilled when the designers put one on the cover. 


Q.  Are you working on something new?


A. Always! But those are shorter articles for my magazine job; I’m very happy to have Lost & Found out in the world and I’m not in a hurry just yet to write another book.


Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?


A.  Just that I’m grateful to you for being interested in books, and I hope you’ll check out Lost & Found. If you’re worried about picking up a grief memoir right now, you should know that although I do write about my sadness over losing my incredible dad, the book is mostly about all the astonishing things we find in life—above all, if we’re lucky, happiness and love.

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