William Lychack has worked as a teacher, editor, speechwriter, ghostwriter, journalist, lifeguard, carpenter, bartender, janitor, Mr. Softee Ice Cream Man, and a Judo instructor in New York City. His latest gig: acclaimed author of The Wasp Eater, a poignant fiction debut about a young boy's attempt to bring his parents back together.
Read the interview
Date of Birth:
February 25, 1966
Place of Birth:
B.A. in Philosophy, Connecticut College, 1988; M.F.A in Creative Writing, The University of Michigan, 1991
The University of Michigan's Hopwood Award, 1991; The Best American Short Stories, 1996
William Lychack's official web site
|Our Book Club Pick|
|The Wasp Eater|
Lychack's acclaimed debut novel is a poignant love story about a boy’s quest to bring his mother and father back together again. "From the shirts hanging dreamlike on a tree in the front yard, to a lost ring, to its final eerie birthday party, The Wasp Eater has an uncanny precision about love and forgiveness. The writing here is both lyrical and acute in its emotional detail, and it is one of the best narratives I have ever read about those who are unforgiving, and the effect of this refusal on a child, the eyes and ears of the family," observes Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love.
Read an excerpt
|A Writer's Rituals|
|We asked Lychack to tell us about some of his writing rituals or habits. "What I try to do is keep semi-regular hours, try to work every day, and try to remember to keep reading," he explains. "I’ll sometimes use an egg timer so that I don’t cheat the actual time that I work. And I seem to enjoy having books around, of course, and letters from friends and writers and family on the wall over my desk for encouragement."|
|So Long, See You Tomorrow|
"I believe it’s about as perfect and beautiful as any novel could ever hope to be," Lychack raves when telling us about his favorite novel, William Maxwell's So Long, See You Tomorrow. "I keep giving away all of my copies of the book. I literally buy them seven at a time and hand them out like cupcakes."
|How to Be Alone|
"Once upon a time, I sat on a panel with Jonathan Franzen and thought he was smart and honest and vulnerable in a completely inspiring and authentic way -- and I think these essays are as close to repeating the experience of that evening as I’m likely to get," Lychack reflects on another of his favorite reads. Read our interview to find out about more of his best-loved books, including: