What book would you take with you to a desert island?
The Ultimate Doonesbury. Doonesbury was really my first graphic obsession. Everything about it is great. It’s smart, funny, and Trudeau always manages to find a unique angle on any subject. And despite Dave Sim’s wild claims for Cerebus the Aardvark, Doonesbury has been following the same characters for 45 years, making it the longest running narrative in history.
What’s your favorite word?
Petrichor. Defined as “the smell of soil that comes with the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.” It’s one of those words that we would normally say, “the Germans would have a word for that.” It’s so evocative. Plus, I live in California, and this drought is so frightening that any hint of moisture in the air sparks wild celebrations.
What literary character should your readers use as a basis for their mental picture of you?
Ichabod Crane. I’m skinny and slightly stooped (note to self: must work on posture). Plus, I have to confess that I am a bit scared of the idea of a headless horseman hunting me down on my commute home from work.
You have one chance to convert someone into a book lover. What book do you give them?
Instead of book, I’ll say “graphic novel.” And I would (and do) give them Persepolis. The art is beautiful, the story is simple, the voice and the setting are unique. Last I checked, that’s what most people are looking for when they open a book.
What would a reading tree house designed just for you look like?
It would be inside of a hollow tree and the pages of the pages of the books would still be connected to the tree, and still alive. I’m not sure it would be practical, but it sounds really “groovy.”
(Ian Lendler is the author of The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth and its sequel, The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Romeo and Juliet, which comes out next fall.)