Joanna Luloff, whose short story collection, “The Beach at Galle Road,” was a Barnes & Noble Discover selection, will be in Westerly next week to talk about her debut novel, “Remind Me Again What Happened.” Luloff, who lives in Denver and teaches at the University of Colorado, has written what critics are calling “a moving and beautifully nuanced story of transience, the ebb and flow of time, and how relationships shift and are reconfigured by each day, hour and minute.” I asked Luloff, to answer five questions for readers and fans, and she willingly obliged.
1. Where were you born?
I was born in Brussels, Belgium, but I grew up in Southboro, Mass., between Worcester and Boston. After college and the Peace Corps, I returned to the Boston area in 1999 to start my MFA program at Emerson College, and I lived in Somerville until 2005.
2. Do you have siblings?
I do! I have a younger brother, Greg, who lives with his family in Seattle.
3. I see Claire (your main character) is a journalist. Did you ever work as a journalist?
I don’t think writing for my high school newspaper counts, does it? I’ve never worked as a journalist, but my closest childhood friend did for many years, and some of Claire’s travels echo hers.
4. What inspired you to write about memory?
My mother lost large portions of her memory when she was in her early forties. We often talked about her “black hole” and her process of borrowing other people’s memories. My conversations with her became the kernel of my book’s questions and conflicts. Sharing memories obviously overlaps with storytelling, so I’ve always thought of writing fiction as an engagement with memory.
5. What books are on your nightstand?
“The Mars Room,” by Rachel Kushner, “Transit,” by Rachel Cusk, “Solar Bones,” by Mike McCormack, Barbara Comyn’s “Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead,” Leslie Arimah’s “What It Means When A Man Falls from the Sky,” and “How to Write an Autobiographical Novel,” by Alexander Chee.