October 16, 2007

3 Questions with the fabulous Renee Rosen

I really really really like just about everything about Renee Rosen. She’s smart, funny, pretty, and has quite a way with words, to boot. I picked up her debut novel, Every Crooked Pot to read at the beach last summer---she’s quite a talent! I recently had the extreme pleasure of getting to hang out with Renee, and I discovered she was every bit as colorful and entertaining as her characters.

In a starred review, BOOKLIST says, “In a debut novel that could easily have been published as an adult memoir, Rosen looks back at the life of Nina Goldman, whose growing up is tied to two pillars: a port-wine stain around her eye and her inimitable father, Artie. The birthmark, she hates; her father, she loves. Both shape her in ways that merit Rosen’s minute investigation, which begins with an incident both funny and shocking….


JJ: Your main character seems to have a lot in common with you. I mean…a LOT! Even booklist says this could have easily been a memoir, is that true? *raises an eyebrow.* So, why is this a novel? How is your main character’s story different from your own?

RR: Since Every Crooked Pot is semi-autobiographical, Nina and I are similar in some very obvious ways. For example, we were both born with a disfiguring strawberry birthmark over our right eye. We both grew up in Akron, Ohio. We both had larger-than-life fathers and mothers who smoked pipes. Like Nina, (and like everyone else I know) I had my share of heartaches with boys and my share of teenage angst. And that's where the similarities ended. Nina's condition was much more severe than mine ever was and she dealt with her birthmark and her family--especially her father--in ways that were very different from my own experience. And while some people think they've read my diary after reading my novel, I'm going on record here and to say that I still have plenty of secrets.

JJ: Can you talk a little about the significance of your title and how you came up with it?

RR: The title references an old Yiddish expression that 'Every crooked pot has a crooked cover.' In other words, there's someone for everyone and that we love people not just in spite of their flaws but because of them. This title was a gift from a dear friend of mine. Her mother used to tell her that expression and I just loved it.

JJ: Who did you dedicate this book to and why?

RR: I dedicated the book to my family and the memory of my father. Though the Rosen clan is very different from the Goldmans, I grew up in a household full of love and laughter (and sometimes tears). My father was an amazing man who provided me with a lifetime of material. The most lovable aspects of Artie can be traced back to him. Every writer should be as lucky as I've been to have such a supportive family and this book was a way to preserve some of those memories we shared growing up "Rosen-style."

Posted by joshilyn at October 16, 2007 9:49 PM

This book indeed sound fabulous! I'll look for it.

Posted by: Keetha at October 17, 2007 10:40 AM

Listen you...

I just bought the Lippman book yesterday, now I need to go to the bookstore again!


Sounds like a very interesting book.

Posted by: Heather at October 17, 2007 2:02 PM

I am looking forward to reading this book!

Posted by: Roxanne at October 18, 2007 3:22 PM