TCT: How has it been getting such great acclaim for your work?
SG: The praise has been wonderful—I’m very grateful for it. I do have a need, though, sometimes, to hide away. Seeing too much of my own face, or reading too much about myself, starts to make me sick, like I’m breathing recycled air. I care much more about my continued ability to write than about anything people might say about my writing. What they say, good or bad, is not my business.
TCT: What advice would you give to someone who is trying to break into the business?
SG: Stay hungry.
TCT: What’s next?
SG: I’m writing an essay collection about Florida called Sunshine State. The tentative publication date is Spring 2017.
TCT: Who is your favorite contemporary author? Favorite historical author?
SG: I don’t play favorites but there are plenty of people writing today whose work really excites me. Ottessa Moshfegh, Lidia Yuknavitch, Merritt Tierce, and Alexandra Kleeman, to name a few. Gregory Howard. Jesse Ball. Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Joan Didion is, of course, still alive, but she’s of a different generation of writers, so I’ll drop her name here in response to your other question. Djuna Barnes. Severo Sarduy.
TCT: What is your dream project?
SG: A history of light.
TCT: How would you describe yourself and your work in 80 characters?
SG: I’m in a perpetual state of becoming. My work is a record of my becoming, for your enjoyment.
TCT: J.R.R. Tolkien or George R.R. Martin?
TCT: Warhol or Michelangelo?
TCT: Shanghai or Cairo?
SG: Either, both.
TCT: Chicago or New York Pizza?
SG: New York.
TCT: Spring Awakening or The Color Purple?
SG: The Color Purple.
TCT: Paperback or e-reader?
SG: Paperback, all the way.
Check out the latest information about Sarah and her work at her website.
Interview conducted by Sean Scarisbrick