March 2013 – Author – Cheryl Klein

CherylHeadshot 05-07-08

About

Cheryl Klein’s first book, The Commuters: A Novel of Intersections, won City Works Press’ Ben Reitman Award. Her novel Lilac Mines was published by Manic D Press in 2009. She directs the California office of Poets & Writers, Inc. and previously co-edited the online queer fiction magazine Blithe House Quarterly. An alumna of UCLA and CalArts, she lives in Los Angeles.

LnL Questionnaire

Your favourite virtue?

Empathy, with curiosity a close second.

Your favourite qualities in a man?

Enthusiasm.

Your favourite qualities in a woman?

Hmm, given that this is a lesbian web page, I feel like I should question why my favourite qualities are divided along gender lines. Even though they are, a little bit. I adore enthusiastic guys because men are encouraged to play it cool. I admire outspoken women because we’re encouraged to smile and nod.

Your main characteristic?

Wordy (see length of answer above).

What draws you most to your friends?

Their honesty, though it seems to manifest a bit differently in all of them.

Given the opportunity what would you most like to change?

In the world: more empathy, less war/violence/bitchy online comments. In myself: more confidence, less debilitating envy.

Who would you most like to take out for dinner?

My girlfriend—she’s in grad school right now, and working full time, so the competition for her time is fierce.

Your idea of happiness?

There are lots of ways to be happy, but here’s one brought to you by North America: My girlfriend and I took a really great trip to Montana in the fall. We rafted on the river, ate at the best (and possibly only) global fusion restaurant in Missoula and saw a black bear in the parking lot of our budget motel.

What is your favourite way of spending the day?

Latte, laptop.

Whose life other than yours would you most like to have lived?

Someone who was part of some famous literary or artistic circle. I always wonder if they knew how cool they were at the time. Probably.

Where would you most like to live?

Los Angeles, California, but a magical version with no traffic.

Who is your favourite author?

Soooo many. But Emma Donoghue wrote the best book I read last year (Room).

Who is your favourite poet?

David Hernandez is a local Southern California poet who really understands anxiety, but keeps it funny.

Your favourite heroes in fiction?

Oscar Wao in Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Ian in Anne Tyler’s Saint Maybe.

Your favourite heroines in fiction?

Is Lily Bart in The House of Mirth a depressing answer? Also Precious in Push (and her teachers and social workers, who quietly make the system work).

Your favourite painters?

I know I’m a little late to the game, but I’ve recently become smitten with Frida Kahlo. Her work is beautiful, unblinking and not afraid to say “fuck you” to anyone who deserves it.

Who is your favourite composer?

Stephen Sondheim.

What is your favourite Film?

Waiting for Guffman.

Your favourite food?

Bready and/or glutinous desserts from all cultures.

Your favourite drink?

Whiskey-based with sorority-girl mixers.

Who do you most admire?

A tough one to answer, but the other day, I was thinking about a local writer who has battled AIDS and adopted a daughter with HIV, and (possibly because I’m a hypochondriac who is currently trying to adopt a child) I thought, He might be the bravest person I know.

What is your present state of mind?

Tangly.

For what fault have you most toleration?

The placing of feet in mouths.

Your favourite motto?

This year it’s “What would Tina Fey do?”

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