Though he hails from the South, New York theater critic John Rowell has a style as eclectic as the metropolis he now calls home -- as is evident in his buzzed-about debut collection of stories, The Music of Your Life. Rowell told us in an interview why he loves his craft: "You know what Dorothy Parker said when someone asked her what she liked best about writing? She said, 'Having written.' Amen."
Read the interview
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
September 10, 1964
Place of Birth:
Fayetteville, North Carolina
B.A., The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
|The Music of Your Life: Stories|
The Los Angeles Times praised Rowell's debut collection of short stories -- laden with pop culture references and bittersweet nostalgia -- as "David Sedaris meets Raymond Carver. It's touching and funny and odd and just a wee bit camp. And, like any good nostalgia, it's as bubbly as it is bittersweet."
Read an excerpt
|An Author's Advice|
|In our exclusive interview with Rowell, we asked him how he would advise aspiring writers. "Someone said once -- I think it was the playwright Peter Stone -- the audience is individually stupid but collectively smart. I think that’s good advice," he reflects. "And I think young writers should send work out without fear of rejection slips. You’d be a freak if you didn’t get rejection slips. Learn to embrace the rejection slip!"|
|Rowell's Influences||Rowell's Reading Recommendations|
|The Grass Harp: Including a Tree of Night and Other Stories|
We asked Rowell to name a work that has influenced him as a writer. "Capote’s stories are funny in a dark and rueful way, which is a kind of writing I’m attracted to -- humor that doesn’t come just for the sake of jokes, humor that comes from the deepest and darkest aspects of the characters. It’s a brilliant book," says Rowell of this classic collection.
|Here is New York|
E. B. White
We asked Rowell to tell us about some of his favorite reads. He selected E. B. White's classic, Here is New York for his list, explaining, "Part memoir, part travelogue, White’s extended essay was written during a sultry, pre-air conditioned Manhattan in the 1940s, which makes it perfect for summer reading -- in your own blissfully air-conditioned living room, of course."
|Photo by Christine Butler||