Welcome to the Book Marks Questionnaire, where we ask authors questions about the books that have shaped them.
This week, we spoke to My Dark Vanessa author Kate Elizabeth Russell.
Book Marks: First book you remember loving?
Kate Elizabeth Russell: Starring Sally J Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume. I remember at one point I left my copy outside in the rain and after it dried out, the book was sort of lopsided and the paper so brittle it cracked when I turned the pages. It was well-loved, like a favorite stuffed animal.
BM: Favorite re-read?
KER: Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson.
BM: What book do you think your book is most in conversation with?
BM: A book that blew your mind?
KER: Malina by Ingeborg Bachmann, an absolutely perfect novel.
BM: Last book you read?
KER: Exquisite Mariposa by Fiona Alison Duncan. I loved it!
BM: A book that made you cry?
KER: Know My Name by Chanel Miller.
BM: What book from the past year would you like to give a shout-out to?
KER: Marilou Is Everywhere by Sarah Elaine Smith was one of my favorite reads of 2019. Such a smart, strange, beautiful novel.
BM: Classic book you hate?
KER: Portnoy’s Complaint.
BM: Classic book on your To Be Read pile?
KER: Bear by Marian Engel. Though it’s only still “to be read” because I keep waiting to find it in a used bookstore. I could order a copy, but I really want to find it myself.
BM: Favorite book of the 21st century?
KER: Heroines by Kate Zambreno. Really, anything by Kate Zambreno.
BM: Book(s) you’re reading right now?
Kate Elizabeth Russell was born and raised in eastern Maine. She holds an MFA from Indiana University and a PhD from the University of Kansas. My Dark Vanessa is her first novel.
Kate Elizabeth Russell’s My Dark Vanessa is out tomorrow from William Morrow.