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The Revealing of Thaisa Frank

April 28, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

Critically acclaimed for her short story collections, ThaisaFrankThaisa Frank (A Brief History in Camouflage, Sleeping in Velvet) debuts with first novel, Heidegger’s Glasses, on May 25, 2010.

Set in the final days of World War II, the novel explores an underground compound of scribes hidden deep in the German forest. And, as imposing and dark as this book may sound, please think of Grimm’s fairy tales. The Divining Wand is scheduled to present/review Heidegger’s Glasses on Monday, May 17, 2010 but, for now, meet Thaisa Frank through her “official” bio:

Thaisa Frank grew up in the Midwest and the Bronx, the granddaughter of a Presbyterian theologian and a Rumanian Chassid, who consulted each other about Aramaic texts. Her father was a professor of medieval English and her mother a director of small theater groups.

Her fiction, characterized by the critic Rob Hurwitt as “domestic magical realism,” inevitably draws on a bi-cultural childhood in which, for two thirds of the year, she lived in a sedate suburb of Illinois and for a third of the year in the colorful, immigrant world of New York. In her stories, men glow in the dark, the letter writer for Howard Hughes reveals his passions, a woman camouflages herself as furniture, a child has too many mothers to remember, and two circus performers go through the eye of a needle. Her collections also include novellas that take place in the Midwest and reveal the journey of a family. Upcoming work is a novel about a nearly mythical haven in the holocaust the safety of which is threatened forever.

She earned an honors degree in philosophy of science and logic from Oberlin College, studied graduate linguistics and philosophy at Columbia and worked as a psychotherapist before becoming a fulltime writer. She has traveled extensively in France and England, and currently lives in Oakland, California.

With this impressive background and gifted talent, what surprises will Thaisa reveal:

Q: How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: Had it all but not all at once.

Q: What is your motto or maxim?
A: Somehow I get things done.

Q: How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: Great sex.

Q: What’s your greatest fear?
A: Falling from a great height.

Q: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A: Under the night sky of the other hemisphere.

Q: With whom in history do you most identify?
A: Jonathon Swift.

Q: Which living person do you most admire?
A: My son.

Q: What are your most overused words or phrases
A: Totally. (And some expletives.)

Q: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A: The art of great tango dancing.

Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: Getting out of my completely crazy family of origin.

Q: What’s your greatest flaw?
A: Impatience.

Q: What’s your best quality?
A: Impatience.

Q: What do you regret most?
A: Not having more children.

Q: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: A cat with a person’s consciousness.

Q: What trait is most noticeable about you?
A: My sense of the absurd.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A: Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A: Piccoline in Par Lagerqvist’s The Dwarf.

Q: If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A:I would like to meet someone who participated in the ancient Greek games. And I would say that I was amazed to meet them.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: People who play emotional karate.

Q: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A: Staring into space.

Q: What’s your fantasy profession?
A: Doing something creative that involves other people but is also steady work. For example–being a great Off Broadway director.

Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A: Compassion
A sense of the absurd
Generosity

Q: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A: Fresh tomatoes

Q: What are your 5 favorite songs?
A: Dreams (the Cranberries)
One Arm One Love (Bob Marley)
Anything that Cat Power sings (don’t make me choose!)
Motherland (Natalie Merchant)
Solomon ( actually Saloman in German) Lotte Leyna)

Q: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A: The Dwarf by Par Lagerqvist
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
The Axe (in four separate books) by Sigrid Undset
All short Stories and parables by Kafka
Remainder by Tom McCarthy

To read more of Thaisa’s fascinatig thoughts/writings, please visit her Redroom blog.

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[Book Giveaway:] The Divining Wand is giving away two copies of SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR in a random drawing of all comments left on this post. The deadline is tonight at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winners to be announced here in tomorrow’s post. If you enter, please visit tomorrow to possibly claim your book. Good luck!

2 Comments to “The Revealing of Thaisa Frank”


  1. I might have to steal her eight words to describe myself! I laughed and then nodded my head in agreement. Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

    1
  2. OMG. I must read her debut novel. I love magic realism and the description of her novel sounds fascinating. Thank you for bringing us another spectacular author.

    2


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