Sloane Crosley: ‘I don’t think America needs a birthday party this year’ | Storytelling

SJohn Crosley, 42, is known for his droll, acerbic personal essays. His latest book, Cult ClassicA smart, effervescent caper through the love story of its heroine, Lola, a New York everywoman who wrestles with misgivings about her engagement to a mysterious start running into a series of ex-boyfriends abroad of the downtown restaurant.

How did it happen? Cult Classic come?
It’s like, where do babies come from: when an idea and a laptop love each other so much, a book comes out. If I try to narrow it down, thematically it comes from protection. I didn’t want to write about dating. I’ve written an article or two about dating and I know what’s going on.

And what happens?
I’m on record as a writer about his dating antics.

So what has changed?
years old. At some point, everyone realizes that other people’s opinions are not worth it. I wanted to practice writing for communication because it takes a part of your life. If I had been married for 20 years and had a divorce and wrote a book about divorce, no one would consider it a form of rebellion or revelation.

How does writing fiction and nonfiction compare?
Mythology scares and shames me. It’s like acting. If there is a talent competition and the choices are to read a poem, spin in circles or juggle and speak German at the same time, I choose to read a poem, but this is like juggling and speaking German. . All the raw material is coming from inside the house, and therefore you are more guilty for every choice, against letting the truth of the world.

Lola’s engagementwould be, Sandals, a glass blower. Tell me about that choice.
Since Boots doesn’t feature much in the book, I wanted him to have interesting trappings without being cliched. I liked the idea that the industry combines art and attention to detail but you have the heavy stuff. There is something very sexy.

How old are you and Lola?
His experiences are not different, the way he says things. But his choices and his ambivalence and indifference towards his own life are not me. I could use more of that, for sure.

No spoilers, but the plot takes an absurd twist. Are you worried about plausibility?
My secret is that I don’t think it’s stupid. Most of this book is a message about healthy culture and technology – we are trying to reorganize and improve every part of our life, down to the last cell. I feel like its speculative methods are close to work.

Your next nonfiction book, Sorrow belongs to manabout the murder of your friend.
Well, that’s the humble story. I have an allergy to the word chapter, which I think a lot about yourself, but there are five of them and they are the five levels of depression, so we know it’s not a laughing riot.

And you wrote that when you were sick?
I wrote like a madman when I was sick. But in a way that’s when you need to do it. When is the best time to read or write a relaxing book – is it on the beach or in the snow?

Covid has had a lasting impact on New York?
I became a big defender during the flu because it was important for us to be well. Now, I think most of us are but people are less patient with each other. We promised to expand if the world would return us to our lost cities, and it seems that we are not achieving a bargain.

Should we talk about the overturning of Roe v Wade?
I left to come here [the UK] on Independence Day, so I watched the fireworks from the plane. I’m not sad about leaving. It’s very bad. No one needs to hear my thoughts on expanding the Supreme Court or not, but I will say that America is where the term dumpster fire came from, and it’s heartbreaking to watch. those firecrackers. I don’t think we need a birthday party this year.

What’s your best dating advice?
A pithy but relevant piece of advice Seinfeld. Jason Alexander’s style says that the trick to a healthy relationship is that everyone needs to feel like they’re getting better. It sounds cliche but it takes this horrible thing we do and uses it for good.

Did any of your childhood reading stick with you?
I am in love Alice in Wonderland, The Secret Garden, Roald Dahl. The idea that something is hiding under the surface or behind a closed door is very interesting to me.

Who is your favorite author?
Madame Bovary. He is so understanding and I love him. I don’t know if Woody Allen should send him back in a time machine – have you read that short story? Leave it to him… Also, it’s the first book I’ve read in French and I don’t think I can do it again – it’s at the height of my French.

What do you want to read next?
The Hutch Rabbit by Tess Gunty. I am very happy to read that.

Which writers working today do you admire the most?
I would say Rachel Kushner, Gary Shteyngart, Zadie Smith and Sigrid Nunez. I really enjoyed Daniel Kehlmann, Dana Spiotta and Lily King. Olga Tokarczuk is beautiful. All of them are musical without being pretentious, funny without celebrating their jokes. Their work is reliable and immersive. I know I am in good hands.

What was the last book you read?
I don’t know about “a lot” but I like Diana Vreeland’s autobiography, DV. It’s amazing (as in to him word) and its time. I’ll give you the first line: “But nostalgia.”

Cult Classic by Sloane Crosley published by Bloomsbury (£16.99). Support the Guard a Spectator order your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Shipping charges may apply

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