"I feel incredibly fortunate that I can make my living reading a bunch of obscure books and turning them into stories," novelist Sheri Holman reveals in our exclusive interview. Best known for The Dress Lodger -- her Dickensian look at plague-ridden England through the experiences of a prostitute -- Holman continues to probe the past for inspiration with her latest work, The Mammoth Cheese.
Read the interview
Brooklyn, New York
Date of Birth:
June 1, 1966
Place of Birth:
B.A. in Theatre from the College of William and Mary, 1988
The Dress Lodger named a New York Public Library Book to Remember and New York Times Notable Book, 2000
|Our Book Club Pick|
|The Mammoth Cheese|
Following the adventures of the rural townsfolk of Three Chimneys, Virginia, as they attempt to re-create the Thomas Jefferson-era, 1,235-pound "Mammoth Cheese," Holman's latest novel is set in the here and now but is still steeped in history. "This inventive, offbeat novel...weaves a deft consideration of American history and political ideals into an exuberantly eccentric tale of smalltown life," said Publishers Weekly of Holman's most recent work.
|Believe It or Not...|
|"I've had an uncanny track record of events in my books coming true in real life," Holman tells us in our exclusive interview. "Just as I was finishing The Dress Lodger (with its rat-baiting scene), we got rats in our basement; and as I was wrapping up The Mammoth Cheese, with its subplot of fertility and multiple birth, I found myself pregnant with twins! My husband is begging me to write a book about winning the lottery next time."|
|Holman's Hit||Favorite Writers and Reads|
|The Dress Lodger|
In her Dickensian second novel, Holman draws a haunting image of what happens when cholera invades the riverside city of Sunderland, England. "Take away its mesmerizing, fiendish tone, its formidable grasp on the physical and social realities of 1830s England, or its raucous cast of cameos -- sailors, constables, and theater players -- and you still would have a wonderful exploration of the way class wars invaded the literal body politic," says our editor.
|D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths|
Ingri D'Aulaire, Edgar Parin D'Aulaire
In our interview, Holman named this illustrated overview of the Greek myths as a personal favorite. I think that book cemented my love of narrative," Holman reflects. "It was just gross enough to keep me going, (Kronos swallows his children and vomits them out again??? -- I loved it!)." Read our interview to learn more about Holman's favorite writers and reads, including:
|Photo by Robin Holland||