Ivy Pochoda knows how to make an entrance into the literary world and sweep readers off their feet. Simply write an elegant and totally original first novel – complete with a lovely “must open” cover — and then schedule its debut for Tuesday, September 15, 2009 when bookstores await their busiest day in years. The Divining Wand believes that many customers will purchase his book and hers — The Art of Disappearing.
It was that cover, the words “by a debut author,” and Amy MacKinnon’s (Tethered) blurb, “Utterly spellbinding,” that caused my immediate need to discover Ivy. And here is her brief book bio:
Ivy Pochoda graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Classical Greek and English. After graduation, she spent time in the Netherlands, pursuing a career in professional squash. She was the Spring 2009 James Merrill House Writer-in-Residence. Currently she lives in Brooklyn, NY.
A full presentation of Ivy Pochoda and The Art of Disappearing will be posted here on Monday, September 14, 2009, but for now let’s discover more about this debut author beyond her pages.
How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: An intriguing balance of literature and athletics.
What is your motto or maxim
A: Someday we will look back on this and rejoice. (It’s from the Aeneid.)
How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: Being able to write unencumbered by the everyday. However, there’s something selfish in this wish.
What’s your greatest fear?
A: Fish and pointlessness.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you chooseto be?
A: Frenchman’s Bay, Maine, a cafe in Amsterdam, or on a train.
With whom in history do you most identify?
A: I’d like to identify with Edith Wharton, but I’m afraid I haven’t
earned the right.
Which living person do you most admire?
A: I’d admire anyone who takes chances on his or her beliefs or
passions—whether in public or in private.
What are your most overused words or phrases?
A: Cool. I say it all the time. I usually mean it. Sometimes I don’t.
What do you regret most?
A: Not daring to major in Folklore and Mythology in college.
If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A Copyediting, proofreading, self-editing, self-restraint, and tennis
What is your greatest achievement?
A: Writing “The Art of Disappearing”
What’s your greatest flaw?
A: Carelessness and impatience.
What’s your best quality?
A: I’m always available to my friends.
If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: Someone or something near water.
What trait is most noticeable about you?
A: I talk quickly.
Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A: Josef Kavalier from “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.”
Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A: Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes.
Q: If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A: SERENA WILLIAMS: I LOVE YOU. I UNDERSTAND YOUR STRUGGLE AND AM THRILLED WITH YOUR VICTORIES.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: Indecisiveness and dithering.
What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A: Reading and condiment shopping. I’m also pretty fond of racket sports.
What’s your fantasy profession?
A: I’d like to run a mobile hot dog cart constructed out a 3-wheeled
What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A: Clarity. Reliability. Honesty.
If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A: Anything Indonesian.
What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A: The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. The Sun Also Rises. The Odyssey. The Age of Innocence. Wings of the Dove.