Arts & Culture

A Weird Day

Darin Strauss, author of More Than It Hurts You, is guest blogging this week as one of Jewcy‘s Lit Klatsch bloggers.  Strauss’s novel is about a new mother diagnosed with Munchausen by proxy. Today I experienced one of the weirder … Read More

By / December 8, 2008

Darin Strauss, author of More Than It Hurts You, is guest blogging this week as one of Jewcy‘s Lit Klatsch bloggers.  Strauss’s novel is about a new mother diagnosed with Munchausen by proxy.

Today I experienced one of the weirder aspects of being a writer. I did a photo shoot. It’s weird for 2 reasons:

1) because for most of a writer’s life, he’s (or I’m) inside, in his/my underwear, pecking away – one painful sentence at a time – at a 400 page manuscript that, it feels like, no one will ever read.

And 2) Who cares enough about novels anymore to set-up a photo shoot?

Anyway, so the book comes out, and – if you get lucky – a woman will ask you to sit under your desk while her assistant holds a reflector behind you and she barks commands ("Okay, but look meaner this time.").

But let me backtrack.

Today even started out weird. I went to my office at NYU, and ran into my nice, gleefully-talented colleague Jonathan Safran Foer. A bum had just spit on Jonathan’s coat. I mean, a real goober. I laughed at this, and Jonathan did too, but for some reason he seemed more bummed about it than I was. Then a photographer – a nice woman named Alana Cundy – showed up to take my photo for the Village Voice. My latest book, More Than It Hurts You, came out back in June, so I don’t know why they wanted a photo shoot now. But I didn’t ask.

We went to my office. I had some razor burn so she sent her assistant out to get some cover-up and something called "Tend Skin." She didn’t charge me for either. (I figured, since I’m on Jewcy, I’d mention that fact – I didn’t even have to pay wholesale!) Then Alana asked me to stand on my desk. (Why? Who knows?) Then Alana asked me to sit under my desk. (Ditto, w/r/t my continuing ignorance). But I didn’t ask. I hope the photos look good. She honestly did seem very talented.

Anyway, the article comes out on Tuesday. Again, More Than It Hurts You is no spring chicken, so I’m very grateful that people are still writing about me.

And that’s it: I’m sitting here, still beneath my desk (I thought if I typed this while still under here, I’d get the vibe right); I’m still wearing pancake makeup; I’m still trying not to feel like all this – the photoshoot itself; the posing ("Now try doing angry for me"); even this blogging – makes me somehow a phony. It doesn’t feel like writing fiction, that’s for sure. But it’s all part of the game, and I know I’m lucky to be asked. (So thank you both to Jewcy and to the Village Voice.)

Still, I have to say it all feels weird.

Darin Strauss, author of More Than It Hurts You, is guest blogging on Jewcy, and he’ll be here all week. Stay tuned.