Interview with Michael Goldfarb

October, 2009
Michael Goldfarb

Quick Start


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?

MG: solvency

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


General Questions


SS: What is your birthdate?

MG: 9/20

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

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