Irina Reyn Revealed
About Irina Reyn
What is your birthdate?:11/21
Previous occupations:Television production assistant, publicist, editor, program administrator, proofreader.
Favorite job:I can think of no better job than the one I have now as professor.
High school and/or college:I'm a proud graduate of Rutgers University.
Favorite movie:"Manhattan" (Woody Allen)
Favorite television show:"The Wire" was pretty excellent.
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. Always seeking adventure, knowledge and peace of mind.
- Q. What is your motto or maxim?
- A. Overcome your fears.
- Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
- A. A shady patio, a good book and a sugar cone of mint chocolate chip ice cream.
- Q. What’s your greatest fear?
- A. To be invisible.
- Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
- A. Back in bed.
- Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
- A. Mary, Queen of Scots.
- Q. Which living person do you most admire?
- A. I have always been intrigued by Isabella Rossellini.
- Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
- A. "Um" and "You know"
- Q. What do you regret most?
- A. Not trusting myself more.
- Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
- A. Singing or renovating a home.
- Q. What is your greatest achievement?
- A. Marriage. Publishing a book.
- Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
- A. Shyness.
- Q. What’s your best quality?
- A. Because I'm shy, I'm neither pushy nor overbearing.
- Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
- A. A cat.
- Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
- A. My hands are small.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
- A. Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
- A. Gargamel from the Smurfs. Also Clare Quilty from Nabokov's Lolita.
- Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
- A. I would advise Alexander Pushkin that a duel never solves marital problems.
- Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
- A. Rudeness.
- Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
- A. Teaching.
- Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
- A. Actor.
- Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
- A. Punctuality, generosity, loyalty.
- Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
- A. Plain pizza.
On Books and Writing
- Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
- A. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (of course!)
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Less Than One: Selected Essays by Joseph Brodsky
- Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
- A. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.
- Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
- A. Good revising is just as crucial as good writing.
- Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
- A. How they identify with the theme of displacement. One doesn't have to be an immigrant to know what it feels like to be an outsider.
- Q. How did you come to write What Happened to Anna K.?
- A. I love Anna Karenina, but I did not set out to rewrite the classic. Instead, I wanted to consider the collision between the Old and New worlds; it occurred to me that by alluding to Leo Tolstoy's great classic, I could more deeply explore the themes of infidelity and community in our contemporary moment.