Interview with Matthew Aaron Goodman

October, 2009
Matthew Aaron Goodman

Quick Start


SS: What is your motto or maxim?

MG: "A man is the product of his thoughts, what he thinks, he becomes." M. Ghandi

SS: How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

MG: Bicycle bridges, teach literacy, listen, think, be free


What Readers want to know...


SS: How would you describe perfect happiness?

MG: Peace

SS: What’s your greatest fear?

MG: Unhappiness

SS: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

MG: The beach

SS: With whom in history do you most identify?

MG: The lost tribe

SS: What are your most overused words or phrases?

MG: Such is life

SS: What do you regret most?

MG: Not being a good student in school

SS: What trait is most noticeable about you?

MG: I am quiet

SS: What’s your fantasy profession?

MG: Ambassador of a small peaceful island nation

SS: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

MG: Integrity. Compassion. Humor.

SS: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

MG: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

SS: What are your 5 favorite songs?

MG: Today: Trouble (Ray LaMontagne), W-4 (Dead Prez), Flamenco Sketches (Miles Davis), Viddui ((????? (?????), Assouf (Tinawaren)

SS: Which living person do you most admire?

MG: Nelson Mandela

SS: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

MG: I would love to be a musician, to able to sing, read, and compose music.

SS: What is your greatest achievement?

MG: Not losing my sense of hope or earnestness

SS: What’s your greatest flaw?

MG: I am a relentless pursuer and believer

SS: What’s your best quality?

MG: I am not afraid to fail

SS: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

MG: There are too many people and things I imagine being. This is, I think, why I love to write.

SS: Who is your favorite fictional hero?

MG: Right now: Guido Ofice, the protagonist in Roberto Benigni's film "Life is Beautiful"

SS: Who is your favorite fictional villain?

MG: The whale in Moby Dick

SS: What is your biggest pet peeve?

MG: Fanaticism

SS: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

MG: Community organizing, teaching reading and writing, being a student..

SS: If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

MG: Copernicus would be an interesting person to meet. I'd like to ask him about why and how he believed the world was round, and how he held onto such a belief despite so much opposition. I would also like to meet King Solomon. I'd like to meet Nefertiti and ask her about polytheism and monotheism. I'd like to meet Ghandi as well. Recently, I've been thinking about meeting Luis de Torres, Christopher Columbus' Jewish translator who chose not to return to Europe and remained in Hispanola. I suppose the desire to meet historical characters is an intrinsic part of being a writer.


Questions About Books and Writing


SS: Who are your favorite authors?

MG: Nazim Hikmet, James Baldwin, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Reinaldo Arenas, Edwidge Danticat, Yehuda Amichai, Zadie Smith, Mahmoud Darwish, etc...

SS: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

MG: Nobody Knows My Name, Night, Before Nightfalls, Don Quixote, Song of Songs...

SS: Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

MG: Believe


General Questions


SS: What is your birthdate?

MG: 3/8

SS: Where did you go to high school and/or college?

MG: Brandeis University

SS: What were your previous occupations?

MG: Laborer, Mover, Car washer, flower salesman, catering waiter, bartender, grill cook, teacher, production assistant, concert security, door man/usher, case manager, etc..

SS: Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

MG: Fela Kuti

SS: What is your favorite movie?

MG: Braveheart

Get more on Matthew Aaron Goodman at SimonandSchuster.com

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