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THE TYPE QUESTIONNAIRE

Ethan Nosowsky, Editorial Director for Graywolf Press



Tell me three random facts about yourself.
1) I was wildly accident prone as a kid, but I seem to have grown out of it. Perhaps "growing out of it" means growing INTO sedentary middle age. 2) I worked at a bookstore while I was in graduate school (Green Apple, in San Francisco) and consider this experience essential to my work as an editor. 3) I've never been to Toronto! Can someone help fix that?

What is the first book you remember loving?
The Phantom Tollbooth—I can remember others, earlier, that I liked, but I was slightly obsessed with that one. 

What is your favorite virtue in a book?
Sentences that sing. 

What do you appreciate most in a book character?
Acute observations and/or a distinctive outlook. 

What character (real or fictional) do you dislike the most?
I can be interested in dislikable characters. But I really disliked the cat that killed Hungry Joe in Catch-22.

If you where to write a non-fiction book about anything, what would it be about?
Probably baseball. Aren't you glad I'm not a writer?

Your favourite prose authors?
Joyce, Baldwin, Didion.

Your favourite poets?
Whitman, Rilke, Yeats.

Has a design or art book ever had an impact on your life, and if so, what was the impact?
I think seeing the Codex Seraphinianus in the early 1980s probably paved the way for my discovery of Calvino, Pessoa, Kafka, and a lot more mind (world) expanding writing.

Do you read on public transportation?
All. The. Time. 

What qualities do you want in a book you’re read while traveling?
The same as when I'm not traveling. I don't believe in "vacation reading."

If you could force a single celebrity to read a specific book in it’s entirety, who would you chose, and what book would you make them read?
Since Beyonce's "Flawless" showed her willingness to draw on writers like Chimamanda Adichie, I am eager to hear the results of her reading Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts.

What book(s) are you reading right now?
I just started Paul Beatty's genius The Sellout. There's vacation reading for you (me)!