6 questions we always ask — David Housewright, author


I read a lot of author’s about pages. It’s a job hazard. So when I say I found David Housewright’s about page funny and engaging (it’s full of newspaper funniness), I know what I’m talking about. It only makes sense, afterall, Housewright is an Edgar Award Winner (for his novel Penance and a Minnesota Book Award Winner (for Practice to Deceive). His latest is Jelly’s Gold, and he’ll be reading from that book at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (June 25th) at Common Good Books, 165 Western Ave N, Suite 14, St. Paul, MN

What book(s) are you currently reading?
I just started The Truelove, which is the fifteenth entry in the Patrick O’Brien nautical adventures featuring Lucky Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. I’ve been rationing the books because I know when I reach 21 that’ll be the end of them. I just finished Gunman’s Rhapsody by Robert B. Parker. It’s yet another take on the events surrounding the Gunfight at the OK Corral and not a very good one, I’m afraid.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character? Who?
I’m not sure what you mean by crush. I was awfully fond of Mr. Sherlock Holmes of 221b Baker Street when I was young and impressionable. Call it a man-crush. I also liked Bridgit O’Shaughnessy from The Maltese Falcon. She was so deliciously amoral.

If your favorite author came to Minnesota, who would it be and what bar would you take him/her to?
E. L. Doctorow and I’d probably take him to Neumann’s in North St. Paul because it’s the oldest, continuously operating bar in Minnesota – it didn’t close even during Prohibition. I think Ed would appreciate that.

What was your first favorite book?
It was one of those Scholastic Book Club books I bought when I was in grade school – Mystery Guard at Left End. I have no idea who the author was but it got me thinking even at a young age about using the mystery genre to explore social issues (in this case sexism – a teenage girl disguised herself as a boy because she wanted to play football). After that, it would have to be The Once and Future King by T. H. White.

Let’s say Fahrenheit 451 comes to life, which book would you become in order to save it from annihilation?
Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow.

What is one book you haven’t read but want to read before you die?
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy but only so I could say I did.

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