Bloom is the author of two novels and three collections of short stories, and has been a nominee for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. We caught up with her before her appearance at Inkwood Books on Wednesday for her latest short story collection, Where the God of Love Hangs Out (released in paperback in January). Bloom, 57, is also a social worker and psychotherapist, taught at Yale University for the past decade and became the Kim-Frank Family University Writer in Residence at Wesleyan University last year. She lives in Connecticut.
What's on your nightstand?
Empty Family, a short story collection by Colm Tóibín; Perfect Lives, a collection by an English writer, Polly Samson; Michael Cunningham's Nightfall; and The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies. I'm rereading The Deptford Trilogy because I constantly am recommending it to people. Davies was so smart and ridiculously erudite. He seemed to love a good story and made terrific characters with human conflicts.
As a writer, are you more partial to short stories or novels?
You know, I've started a piece as a short story, and then after 25 pages, I realize it demands more. I cannot say one or the other. They both require different things of you.
What short stories do you remember being impressed with when you were young?
I read lots of short stories, including Hawthorne, Melville, Poe and O. Henry. You know, I read the ones that were traditionally taught. And then, at home, my father was a big Ring Lardner and Dorothy Parker fan, both of whom were incredible with their voice.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer