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The Little City Five: David Hallberg

1. What is your favorite Fred Astaire routine? Mine is I'd Rather Lead a Band from Follow the Fleet — although it's impossible to choose. If you'd rather, answer this: do you prefer the elegant top-hatted Astaire or the rolled-up sleeves, hard working hoofer?
I fell for the top-hatted Fred but grew to appreciate more the rolled-up sleeved Fred. But Dancing in the Dark with Cyd Charisse is one of my favs.

THE LITTLE CITY FIVE: Stephanie Danler

1. What did you learn in graduate school that you didn't know already?

I learned about the world of writing – which is incredibly hard to access without help. I mean that I learned that there are fellowships and residencies and conferences, readings going on all over the city on any given night. There was this supportive community but I don’t know how I would have connected to it without school.

2. How do you approach reading poetry?

Little City Five: Sarah Gerard

1. The meaning of "home" in a general sense is important in these essays — what drew you to that topic?

I was interested in exploring the various ways that growing up in Florida has shaped the person I've become, and through writing about my home state, and my family home, became interested in attempting to define what it means to have a home in the first place (or not).

2. Florida is a big state a lot of people are from, but you don't often see it given this type of literary treatment — why do you think that is?


Little City Five: Ian Rankin
1. You've compared your Detective Rebus to maverick American PIs — who is your favorite American PI in a book? On t.v.?
My favourite PI in books would be Matt Scudder. Lawrence Block was one of the first US crime writers I read and I loved the Scudder series from first word to last. On TV, I'd maybe say Jim Rockford. Laconic, decent, played to perfection.

Little City Five: Helen Ellis

Helen Ellis is coming to read on November 17th. The day after the election, we had a few questions for her:

1. Sorry, it's the morning after, I have to. Can you, as a Southerner and a New Yorker, say anything about the election that will make me feel better?

Alas I cannot. 


2. I mean, why?

There's truth in fiction: our country is now a reality game show.



1. Do your Kentucky roots have anything to do with your interest in horses?

None whatever.  I didn't grow up in Kentucky and while I didn't dislike horses, I did not especially like them.  I have come to like them more now, but I didn't write the book for that reason.

2. You've taught a lot of college students. Does a writing student ever really surprise you with a great unexpected leap of insight, or ability? Or are they mostly knowable from the beginning?


1. Are you an outdoors person or more of an armchair trekker?


My ideal day would begin with a long hike in the mountains to pick blueberries or, if there's snow on the ground, multiple sledding runs down our driveway/sledding hill with my husband and two daughters and our neighborhood friends. Then, once I'm thoroughly worn out, I would come indoors, pour a glass of wine and curl up in our old recliner by the woodstove to spend a few hours reading a really great book. So the answer: both.


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