Late Night Library: Summarize your book in 10 words or fewer.
Michael Cho: Smart young woman is caught between inertia and creative ambition.
LNL: If this book were the lovechild of two others, who are its parents?
MC: Toughie. Can I cheat and include a couple of movies? The Push Man by Yoshihiro Tatsumi and a double bill of TR Baskin (starring Candice Bergen) and The Apartment (directed by Billy Wilder).
LNL: What ingredients go into the recipe of your writing style?
MC: 3 cups of quiet labor, 1 ½ cups of self doubt, a simmering pot of rewriting and editing and a teaspoon of sudden inspiration strained through a cheesecloth. Reduce.
LNL: Name one book you wish you could read again for the first time.
MC: Dubliners, by James Joyce. The stories were a slog for me when I was sixteen. They were more meaningful when I was twenty-five. I’m curious to see how I would respond to them afresh now.
LNL: Answer a question you wish people would ask you about writing.
MC: What are your favorite books by your favorite authors? A Farewell to Arms by Hemingway, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson, Hamlet by Shakespeare, Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline, The Plague by Albert Camus, and Collected Poems by Seamus Heaney are probably a good list.
Get a copy of Shoplifter at IndieBound.
Michael Cho is an illustrator, cartoonist, and writer based in Toronto. Cho’s previously published work includes Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes, a collection of sketches depicting Toronto’s cityscape. He created the illustrations for Rabindranath Maharaj’s The Amazing Absorbing Boy and is well known for his offbeat illustrations of superheroes. One of his stories was included in The Best American Comics 2010. Cho was born in Seoul, South Korea, but has lived in Canada since he was six. Visit him online at chodrawings.blogspot.com.