Meet Our TYPE Reader for July, Jeanine!
What is the first book you remember loving?
I had a third grade teacher who lovingly guided a lot of my reading—it was at her suggestion that I read The Westing Game. This was also around the time I was obsessively reading and then re-reading His Dark Materials, that Philip Pullman fantasy trilogy. And who could forget The Princess Diaries series, the reason for my compulsive diarism???
What is your favourite virtue in a book?
Sentences that I stop to read a few times over because I’m amazed that language can be so dazzling. I have access to the same damn words as Elizabeth Smart and yet!!!
What do you appreciate most in a book character?
Flaws that are also my flaws. I loved Olga in The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante. The moment where she’s completely unable to unlock her door just decimates me.
What character (real or fictional) do you dislike the most?
Every character in Closer which is why it’s a perfect film.
If you were to write a non-fiction book about anything, what would it be about?
I suppose I’d write about relationships.
Who are your favourite prose authors?
Clarice Lispector, whose writing makes me dizzy. I love Miranda July’s humble and weird and truthful stories. Eve Babitz is whip-smart. And Elena Ferrante, of course.
Do you read on public transportation?
Always. Perfect time to read.
What book have you never read but have always meant to? Do you think you will ever read it?
When I was younger I thought it was important to read all the books on a “100 best novels” list. Now that I’m firmly in adulthood with my own opinions etc there are so many books I want to read by women that it feels almost silly to use too much time on dead white guy stuff. I’m never gonna read For Whom the Bell Tolls but I think that’s ~chill~.
What book do you pretend to have read, but in fact have not?
When I bought The Argonauts Kyle mercilessly teased me for not yet having read it. My ego won’t take any more chances: now I pretend I’ve already read every new book I buy.
If you could force a single celebrity to read a specific book in its entirety, who would you choose, and what book would you make them read?
I want my mother, Chris Kraus, to read The Pisces and then call me about it.
What book(s) are you reading right now?
Frantumaglia by Elena Ferrante, Outline by Rachel Cusk (I’m late to this, I know), Cassandra by Christa Wolf, Die Wand by Marlen Haushofer (I read the English translation and the writing underwhelmed me but it’s my grandmother’s favourite book so I’m torturing myself with the German to see if I like it better—I do), Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard (reading this one mainly in parks), and I’m lazily making my way through a Chagall biography.