Celeb of the month | Writer |Helen Eisenbach

Helen Eisenbach photo by Kelly Campbell


Helen Eisenbach writes screenplays, plays, and has published two books, the novel Loonglow and the satirical how-to/cry for help Lesbianism Made Easy, both of which will be published as e-books by Open Road Media this December. Her journalism has appeared in New York magazine, Salon, Newsday, Time Out New York, The New York Times, Interview, the Daily News and other tasteful publications. She has been a book and magazine editor at several outlets that no longer exist, but she tries to resist dark thoughts about conspiracies.


Your favourite virtue?

Your favourite qualities in a man?
Empathy, wit, subtlety, optimism, talent, tenderness, intellectual curiosity, thoughtfulness, creativity

Your favourite qualities in a woman?
Wit, talent, subtlety, directness, thoughtfulness, lightheartedness, intellectual curiosity, empathy, creativity

Your main characteristic?

What draws you most to your friends?
Quick wit, sweetness, lack of pretension, playfulness, intellectual engagement, low center of gravity

Given the opportunity what would you most like to change?
The alarming state of women and girls worldwide, in perception and reality. The brutality of fundamentalism. The destructive politics of difference. The implosion of our natural resources. The ability of those in positions of authority to betray their duties with impunity. Our presumed helplessness in the face of their actions. My metabolism.

Who would you most like to take out for dinner?
Someone with whom I’m eerily compatible emotionally, intellectually and physically. Where is she? (While I’m waiting: Emma Thompson. And Tina Fey.)

Your idea of happiness?
Laughing until weak with a friend. Walking around NYC or Paris talking and people-watching with a bright companion. Dancing until dawn. Getting lost in the world of a novel.

What is your favourite way of spending the day?
See above.

Whose life other than yours would you most like to have lived?
The Dalai Lama. Or George Clooney.

Where would you most like to live?
New Orleans. If only someone would lower the thermostat.

Who is your favourite author?
Changes weekly. Just discovered Emily St. John Mandel. Hooked!

Who is your favourite poet?
Allen Ginsberg

Your favourite heroes in fiction?
Lincoln in Rainbow Rowell’s wonderful Attachments. Sam in Tabitha King’s heartbreaking One on One. Lee Child’s criminally entertaining avenger Jack Reacher.

Your favourite heroines in fiction?
Tall, hot, battle-scarred detective Aud Torvingen in Nicola Griffiths’ novels. The titular duo in Alma Routsong’s Patience and Sarah. Mother and daughter in Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette.

Your favourite painters?
George Braque, Van Gogh, Roz Chast, Picasso

Who is your favourite composer?
At the moment, Australian composer Carmel Dean, whose musical-in-progress about Edna St. Vincent Millay haunts/taunts me.

What is your favourite Film?
Laurel Canyon. Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train. The Philadelphia Story. (About a hundred more.)

Your favourite food?
Pistachios. Fresh-baked bread. Granny Smith apples. Now I’m hungry.

Your favourite drink?
Café con leche, which I (sadly) can no longer drink.

Who do you most admire?
Those who persevere as artists. Those who non-violently expose dangers and corruption. Anyone who survives abuse with spirit and humanity intact.

What is your present state of mind?

For what fault have you most toleration?
Rampant flirtatiousness

Your favourite motto?
Pursue joy


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