Generally Horrible Questions: Dan Chaon
1. What author or book should we all be reading?
Lint by Chris Ware. Most mind-blowing book of 2011, hands down.
2. What book have you re-read more than any other?
Probably The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, closely followed by Lolita by Vladamir Nabokov and The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (though I haven’t actually read The Hobbit in about 30 years. Maybe now that the movie is coming out I should revisit it?)
3. Favorite three bands?
4. I have never read ________ and I am so ashamed
Remembrance of Things Past, by Marcel Proust. (I’ve read the famous Madeline passage, but nothing else.)
5. What do you tell your writing students to never do, but sometimes do yourself?
|The great Borges...|
not a spring chicken even
in 1951, when this was taken.
6. Gianna or Liz?
There’s no way to answer this question. It’s like “Cake or Ice Cream?” [Our two favorite food groups! We also assume Liz is the ice cream due to her cold nature. Also, Liz is always the correct answer.]
7. Coolest writer you’ve ever met?
Jorge Luis Borges [We are incredibly impressed. Of course, we can't call him to verify....]
8. I have read ____ and I am so ashamed
|Dude, all things must end, but we're|
sorry for blowing it.
9. Your last name is pronounced “Shawn” which made us wonder who your favorite Shawn is. Sean Penn, Sean Combs, Shawn Carter (Jay Z to the unhip), Sean Connery, Shawn Colvin, Shawn who sat next to Liz is high school calculus, or Shaun of the Dead?
|Gianna's favorite book|
By the way, if you do a Twitter search for “Chaon” you will find that it is an Urban Dictionary type slang word. People say that something is “off the chaon!” And that means that it is cool and funky. Right on! [We think this is going to take off way beyond Twitter, for chaon.]
10. Can you name five things creepier than twins (Liz is a twin, so think creepier)?
a. Rick Perry;
b. vegetable drawer full of forgotten potatoes that have begun to sprout tiny human eyes and fingers;
c. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, esp. Taylor; [This makes us worry for our Dan that he can name a wife…worry and love that is.]
d. the corpse of your dead grandma, somehow animated, somehow alive, rotting and crouched in your closet, a sick smell that wafts over you when you are sleeping and then you open your eyes in the dark and you can hear her breathing, wetly chewing on something with her toothless mouth, and you try to convince yourself: Grandma loved me. Grandma wouldn’t hurt me. This is not real.
e. That awful thing that is constantly staring at the back of your head but when you turn around it’s not visible.
11. What's the strangest or most awkward thing to happen to you on book tour (bonus points if you admit it was meeting Gianna and Liz)?
I don’t remember anything awkward happening when we met, Gianna and Liz. I thought we had a nice time together. Didn’t we? [Clearly Dan didn’t notice Gianna nearly going in for a kiss.]
|Look for Dan's newest story|
collection in stores in February.
Not that this has happened to me, mind you. There are always crowds upon crowds at my bookstore appearances.
12. Liz and I are starting a band; can you suggest a few names?
Mamas Who Let Their Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys
The Uncircumcised Girls [Clear winner…Dan must have a real sense of what our band will be like.]
Thanks Dan! You're the chaon!