Interview with Michael GoldfarbOctober, 2009
SS: How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
MG: observed, reported, reflected, then I wrote books
SS: What is your motto or maxim?
MG: Deadlines are sacred
What Readers want to know...
SS: What’s your greatest fear?
MG: Being unable to work
SS: With whom in history do you most identify?
MG: Two forgotten men I found out about while writing Emancipation: Moses Hess and Solomon Maimon.
SS: Which living person do you most admire?
MG: Nelson Mandela
SS: What do you regret most?
MG: That both my parents passed away before they could kvell over Emancipation
SS: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
MG: To play piano like Sviatoslav Richter
SS: What’s your greatest flaw?
MG: A pronounced tendency to see the glass half empty
SS: What’s your best quality?
MG: An ability to imagine myself inside the shoes of someone from a different culture or historical era
SS: What trait is most noticeable about you?
MG: My speaking voice
SS: If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
MG: Julius Caesar at the age of 30 as he stood at the foot of a statue of Alexander the Great weeping because Alexander had conquered the world by that age, and he, Julius, had done nothing. I would tell him, one late bloomer to another, your best days are ahead of you.
SS: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
MG: playing with my daughter
SS: What’s your fantasy profession?
MG: concert pianist
SS: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
MG: Intelligence, wit and loyalty
SS: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
MG: Conductor, Berlin Philharmonic
SS: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
MG: My wife's cooking
SS: What are your 5 favorite songs?
MG: Oh, c'mon, only 5?!?! Darkness on the Edge of Town, Tangled up in Blue, Bob Dylan's Dream, Over Yonder (Steve Earle), People Get Ready (Curtis Mayfield)
SS: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
MG: Captain Ahab
SS: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
MG: Inspector Javert
SS: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
MG: On a clifftop overlooking the Mediterranean watching the sunset
SS: How would you describe perfect happiness?
SS: What are your most overused words or phrases?
MG: Are you KIDDING me?
Questions About Books and Writing
SS: Who are your favorite authors?
MG: Fiction: Philip Roth, Hilary Mantel, Cormac McCarthy, William Faulkner, Jack London, Poetry: Carol Ann Duffy, Osip Mandelstam, William Shakespeare Uncategorizable: Heinrich Heine Special mention: Parmenides of Elea
SS: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
MG: The Bible (King James Version) The Devils Sentimental Education Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man One Hundred Years of Solitude
SS: Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
MG: When you look at your own work and that of your favorite authors, know what you like and know what is good and know that they are not always the same thing.
SS: Is there a book you love to reread?
MG: Winesburg, Ohio
SS: What is your birthdate?
SS: What were your previous occupations?
MG: Actor, taxi driver, casting assistant, legal proofreader, warehouseman
SS: What was/is your favorite job?
MG: Writing books and doing radio.
SS: Where did you go to high school and/or college?
MG: Harriton High School, Lower Merion PA and Antioch College, Yellow Springs Ohio
SS: What is your favorite television show?
MG: The Wire
SS: Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
MG: Shostakovich and Steve Earle
SS: What is your favorite movie?
MG: Ride the High Country
Get more on Michael Goldfarb at SimonandSchuster.com