With Foreign Babes in Beijing -- her stranger-than-fiction account of her whirlwind experience as a soap opera player while on a business jaunt to China -- Rachel DeWoskin offers up a true comedy of culture shock.
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New York, New York
Date of Birth:
December 1, 1972
Place of Birth:
A.B., Columbia College, Columbia University, 1994; M.A., Boston University, 2000
Academy of American Poets Award for poems from The Caretaker’s Daughter; Grolier Poetry Award for poems from Blind China Diaries
|DeWoskin's Buzz Book|
|A Writer's Rituals|
|"I write late at night, not always at my desk, but all over the place. I pace the halls, wander the living room, window shop the fridge, write on book jackets, inside other people’s books, on the backs of ratty scraps of paper," DeWoskin reveals in our interview. "But I like to keep my desk itself tidy. On it, I have journals, maps, a Chinese dictionary, a Mao alarm clock and the collected poems of Ackmatova and Bishop. I usually manage to blaze out first drafts in fits of inspiration, and then I go through 200 incredibly self-loathing rounds of revisions. I work on more than one project at a time, usually cross genre, so that when I despise one, I can turn to another."|
We asked DeWoskin to tell us about some of her all-time favorite books. When I first read Anna Karenina at age 16, I wanted to be Anna, romantic and tragic," she explains. "When I re-read it at 21, 26 and 30, I wanted to be Tolstoy, in charge of characters and sentences as real and sharp as his."
|Close Range: Wyoming Stories|
DeWoskin also recommends Annie Proulx's acclaimed volume of stories, Close Range. "Proulx’s stories are ferocious, and her plots are so compact that her 20 page stories pack the punches of most 300 page novels," she reflects.