Emily Ziff Griffin
Griffin's first YA novel, Light Years, concerns Luisa, a young woman on the brink of a career as a computer coder who finds herself in the middle of stopping a deadly virus. "The seed of this book comes from my own experience seeing my father die of AIDS as a teenager,'' Griffin said. "I wanted to always tell some version of this story, but I felt ultimately telling the literal version of what happened wasn't going to allow me enough freedom and distance. I wanted it to be compelling to people.''
Griffin holds a degree from Brown University in art semiotics, the study of how images make meaning. She lives in Los Angeles and was the co-founder, along with Philip Seymour Hoffman, of Cooper's Town Productions. It produced Capote, for which Hoffman won a best actor Oscar.
What books are on your nightstand?
Sun in Days: Poems by Meghan O'Rourke. She is an old friend. It is a galley. It's new. She also wrote an amazing memoir of losing her mother, The Long Goodbye. Her writing was a real inspiration to me. I also have The Dark Dark: Stories by Samantha Hunt, and Joy Harjo's A Map to the Next World: Poems. I like to keep that with me. It invites me into a certain place. Her writing is beautiful. Here is a (favorite quote): "I remember when there was no urge to cut the land or each other into pieces, when we knew how to think in beautiful."
I also like to have an audio book since I drive so much in L.A. I tried to do George Saunders (Lincoln in Bardo). I revere him so highly, but in audio it was impossible to do because it feels fragmented. I loved it on the page though. It's so historical.
And finally, I have Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art. It's an incredible book. I wish I read it before my book.
Can you explain why?
I'm really happy with the way I used technology, especially as someone not from the tech world. I had to find ways to make it accessible. It was something I had to do even though I'm not a coder. It would have deepened my understanding of technology and the history. I think it would have led to some "ah-ha's."
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