Adam Wilson @bubblesdepot:
Harper Perennial published this Massachusetts native and former BookCourt employee’s first book, Flatscreen, last year to wide acclaim. It tells the laugh-out-loud story of Eli Schwartz, a loser who spends most of the book in his bathrobe, and his friendship with the paraplegic, promiscuous, and drug abusing former child star that has bought Schwartz’s childhood home.
Why are you so funny?
I’m a pasty, bald Jewboy with a big nose and girlishly thin wrists. It’s my birthright. The wrists are why I never wear a watch.
What neighborhood do you live in?
Carroll Gardens. I moved here for the food, and stayed for the sexy brigade of boho moms who speed-stroller down Smith Street every morning, making beelines from Milk Bar to the LuluLemon store. I love it here. I have excellent relationships with many fine grocers.
Do you own a pet? We’ve found a lot of funny people own pets.
I do. I have a cat named Frida. In fact, she’s here now, perched on the back of my desk chair, clawing at my neck. She keeps me young.
Have you been typecast as a funny writer now? Is that a lot of pressure?
Mostly I feel pressure to be funny in interviews like this one.
Who are some of your favorite funny writers? What have you learned from them about being funny in prose?
My favorite funny writers are those who make me laugh and laugh until I realize I’m complicit in some seriously fucked up shit. Sam Lipsyte does this. So does Paul Beatty. Anthony Lane’s best trashings of Hollywood blockbusters really crack me up. He’s not a prose writer, but Louis CK is another hero of mine. His work, like Philip Roth’s in many ways, reminds me that its often funniest to embrace one’s ugliness.
What’s your favorite Brooklyn bar?
I’m loyal to lower-Carroll Gardens, and I have four that are tied for first place. One is MiniBar, where my buddy Nic bartends and cues a mean playlist. Then there’s Abilene, which has the best Bloody Marys in town, and where I’ve had my birthday party now five years running. Brooklyn Social is great because the pool table competition can be pretty weak, especially on weeknights, and occasionally a shitty player like me can pull out a victory against someone even worse. I also like to sit on the couch in their Ladies Auxiliary Room. Prime Meats is more restaurant than bar, but, man, Damon makes the best Old Fashioned in the borough, if not beyond.
[Insert joke here.]
The Republican Party. Unfortunately, they think they’re serious.