Welcome to the Book Marks Questionnaire, where we ask authors questions about the books that have shaped them.
This week, we spoke to The Summer Demands author Deborah Shapiro.
Book Marks: First book you remember loving?
Deborah Shapiro: Lois Lowry’s Anastasia Krupnik series. Is there a better title than Anastasia, Ask Your Analyst?
BM: Favorite re-read?
DS: Patrick Modiano’s novels—his books are short and atmospheric and feel like part of one longer, continuous project.
BM: A book that blew your mind?
DS: The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard.
BM: A book that made you cry?
DS: Stories by Lucia Berlin and Kathleen Collins have had that effect on me. And David Wojnarowicz’s Close to the Knives.
BM: What book from the past year would you like to give a shout-out to?
DS: I loved Kate Wisel’s Driving in Cars With Homeless Men.
BM: A book that actually made you laugh out loud?
BM: Classic book on your To Be Read pile?
DS:The Man Without Qualities. It’s been on the pile for years. I keep trying. One of these days.
BM: Favorite book no one has heard of?
DS: Advancing Paul Newman by Eleanor Bergstein. People have heard of it (and I keep telling people about it) but it’s sadly out of print. Women, writing, friendship, clothes, political campaigns, the Vietnam war.
BM: Favorite book you were assigned in high school?
DS: The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Not sure I completely grasped it all at the time, but I think it made me understand my mother more.
BM: Book(s) you’re reading right now?
BM: Favorite children’s book?
DS: I rediscovered a lot of old favorites with my son: Maurice Sendak, James Marshall, and Tomie de Paola. And Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad. And Richard Scarry! But god, reading What Do People Do All Day? and Cars and Trucks and Things That Go to your kid night after night after night takes some fortitude.
Deborah Shapiro is a writer in Chicago. Her most recent novel, The Summer Demands, is now available in paperback.
Deborah Shapiro’s The Summer Demands is out now in paperback from Catapult