Lauren Fox, author of Still Life with Husband and Friends Like Us, is one of our favorite writers to host on the Reading Group Center. Her novels are rich fodder for discussion, delving into the depths of female friendship, romantic entanglements, and the complicated ways people try to find themselves. Her latest, Days of Awe, is a knockout, a daring book that explores marriage, motherhood, and the often surprising shape of new love. To celebrate the paperback release, we asked Lauren to do a rapid-fire interview. Check out her hilarious and heartfelt answers below!
Reading Group Center: What is your go-to book recommendation?
Lauren Fox: Let the Great World Spin. And The Stolen Child. And The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. (You can’t expect just one answer to that question!)
RGC: You’re going to a party and need a last-minute gift. What do you bring?
RGC: What’s your favorite snack?
LF: The chocolate I was saving to bring to that party. Also string cheese.
RGC: What do you do when you can’t sleep?
LF: Think about dying. Wake up my husband by saying, “Pssst! Are you sleeping???”
RGC: Who/what inspires you?
LF: My friends here in Milwaukee who are very involved in local politics and activism—for increased gun control, better public schools, economic equality, against the massive defunding of public education that’s going on in our state. I’m not great at putting myself out there, but I think these are some of the defining causes of this moment, and I’m so impressed with and inspired by my friends who are vocal and strong leaders in these struggles.
RGC: If you could time travel, when would you go?
LF: In the morning.
RGC: When you were little, who/what did you want to be when you grew up? What about now?
LF: I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I don’t have a lot of certainty about most things, but this has always been clear to me. I also think it would be fun to be a baker, but I don’t really like getting up early, and the only things I’m fairly good at baking are muffins and cookies, so I’m limited. But running a muffin bakery with afternoon hours would be a fun job.
RGC: Describe your first pet.
LF: Scaly. Unaffectionate. Aquatic. Gold.
RGC: If you could choose your last words, what would they be?
LF: “I’m so glad I lived to be two hundred years old!”
RGC: What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
LF: Put on my glasses.
RGC: Describe your ideal day.
LF: It’s raining out, and nobody has any plans. My family is home, but nobody needs me to make them food or help them find socks. We’re all just hanging out. I’m drinking coffee and reading a big, juicy novel, and my kids are getting along, and delicious vegetarian meals appear magically before me at appropriate intervals. Then we go see a movie.
RGC: What is in your purse right now?
LF: Two rolls of Sweet Tarts. A book-length collection of grocery store receipts. An uncapped pen. Keys. Wallet. A poem my daughter wrote about a river. An order for a cholesterol test from two years ago.
RGC: Are you a cake person or a cookie person?
LF: I’m an actual person.
RGC: Which animal hybrid would you most like to own as a pet?
LF: An elephant-puppy. An elephuppy/puppephant. So soulful and adorable.
RGC: Which word would you like to never hear again?
What would you ask an author? Message us on Facebook with your suggestions, and you might see them included in an upcoming Quick Questions feature!