Donna Jo Napoli Revealed
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. spaghetti with peperoncini, and ricotta for smooth taste
- Q. What is your motto or maxim?
- A. Let it go, then try again.
- Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
- A. I don't believe in perfection -- at least not outside of mathematics and religion.
- Q. What’s your greatest fear?
- A. That I'll go to jail for something I didn't do.
- Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
- A. Venice
- Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
- A. Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia -- the first woman Ph.D. in history. She wanted an education and no one thought a woman should have one. My father had some blinders -- education for women was one of them.
- Q. Which living person do you most admire?
- A. Oh my. Noam Chomsky, I believe.
- Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
- A. You wouldn't print them. They're taboo.
- Q. What do you regret most?
- A. This is so personal. Maybe how I treated my mother when I was in high school.
- Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
- A. Singing.
- Q. What is your greatest achievement?
- A. Raising my children without completely messing them up.
- Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
- A. Fear I won't be believed -- and so I exaggerate (which makes what I say unbelievable).
- Q. What’s your best quality?
- A. Empathy
- Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
- A. an elephant
- Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
- A. persistence
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
- A. Maybe I don't believe in heroes.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
- A. Medusa
- Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
- A. Akbar, the third Mogul emperor.
"Let me help you learn to read."
- Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
- A. People who say, "Oh, you write for children? That must be pure fun."
- Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
- A. Gardening. Or dancing. Or yoga. or baking bread. or being a linguist.
- Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
- A. Being a naturalist.
- Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
- A. kindess, insightfulness, humor
- Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
- A. pasta
- Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
- A. "Do you believe in magic?" (The Lovin' Spoonful) "I can't help falling in love with you" (Elvis) "What a wonderful world" (Louis Armstrong" "Light my fire" (The Doors) "America" (by Simon & Garfunkel, but i love it sung by James Taylor)
On Books and Writing
- Q. Who are your favorite authors?
- Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
- A. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
The Things They Carried
The Trumpet of the Swan
But all this is really false, because I love so many books.
- Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
- A. The Illiad
- Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
- A. Keep at it.
- Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
- A. What happened next?