Reading with... Kelly Corrigan

photo: Mellie T. Williams

Kelly Corrigan has been called "the voice of her generation" by O Magazine and "the poet laureate of the ordinary" by the Huffington Post. She is the author of The Middle Place, Lift and Glitter and Glue. She is also the creative director of the Nantucket Project and host of its conversation series about what matters most. She lives near Oakland, Calif., with her husband, Edward Lichty, and daughters, Georgia and Claire. Her novel Tell Me More is published by Random House (January 9, 2018).

On your nightstand now:

Two memoirs that are coming out this spring:

I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O'Farrell

Educated by Tara Westover

Wildly impressed by both.

Favorite book when you were a child:

I was pretty into Encyclopedia Brown and then Nancy Drew.

Your top five authors:

Marilynne Robinson, Nicole Krauss, C.S. Lewis, David Sedaris, the New Yorker writ large.

Book you've faked reading:

I never finished Cold Mountain. The movie came out and I watched it, and the next day, I started reading a new book.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Rules Don't Apply by Ariel Levy. For memoir, this is best in class. A story you have never heard told beautifully.

Book you've bought for the cover:

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. (Lucky me, it turned out to be a great read.)

Book you hid from your parents:

Judy Blume's entire canon. What can I say? I was raised Catholic.

Book that changed your life:

Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott. It was the first memoir I ever read. I didn't know writing could be personal like that. Gave me hope.

Favorite line from a book:

"Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them. Rather, life obliges them--over and over--to give birth to themselves." --Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

My whole life is one reinvention after another. If I didn't believe this, I'd be working at a bank somewhere, hopeless and miserable.

Five books you'll never part with:

I keep a lot of books around. I like how they look and I am a person who writes notes in the margins so I like to return to books and see what moved me.

A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis (endlessly useful)
My Ántonia by Willa Cather (my mother's favorite novel)
Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham (vitamin-rich comfort food)
Tenth of December by George Saunders (inventive and so insightful)
The Harry Potter books (my teenage daughters insist we keep them forever)

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. I couldn't believe the way that story unfolded. The ending puts Atwood in a class of her own.

Standout authors you've met:

Elizabeth Gilbert is excellent company and Gary Shteyngart is hilarious. Margaret Atwood is a feisty intellectual omnivore and B.J. Novak is laser sharp. Michael Lewis and I have worked together several times to help our Children's Hospital in Oakland, and no one tells a better story. Anna Quindlen is like family. But my closest writer friends are Susannah Meadows and Darin Strauss, both of whom are lovely and generous geniuses.

Powered by: Xtenit