Author and foodie McHenry is a pop culture columnist and editor in chief of Intrepid Media (intrepidmedia.com). Her work has appeared in publications such as North American Review, Indiana Review and the Graduate Review at American University, where she earned her MFA in creative writing. Last month, McHenry published her first novel, The Kitchen Daughter. When asked about character development for the story, which conjures up several ghosts from kitchens past, McHenry described her work as "matching characters with recipes.''
What's on your nightstand?
Several books of short stories. I don't write short stories anymore. I'm writing another novel, but for some reason, I've turned to short stories. There's Emma Straub's Other People We Married and Andrea Barrett's Servants of the Map.
Have you read either author before?
I know Emma Straub from Twitter, and with Servants of the Map, it was originally recommended to me by someone, but it's a reread. (Andrea Barrett's) writing is so beautiful. The details she chooses make you feel like you know the character and the world they are living in. One of the stories is about mapping the Himalayas. It's in the middle of the 19th century. It's a world I know nothing about, but the way she writes, I feel like I understand it.
Do you remember a favorite book from your formative years?
Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Madeleine L'Engle creates magical worlds, but the family is always at the core.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer