Papier Passions

Papier Book Club: 12 Questions with Lisa Taddeo

The author of Animal and Three Women on her favorite reads and the meaning of storytelling.

For the second chapter of our Papier Book Club, we invited author Lisa Taddeo to discuss her latest release, Animal. An exciting voice in contemporary literature, Taddeo’s non-fiction debut Three Women hit bestseller lists around the world. Her first novel, Animal – a visceral depiction of a woman navigating trauma – is just as captivating. Hosted by fellow paper person Kenya Hunt (Deputy Editor of Grazia and the author of Girl: Essays on Black Womanhood) the live-streamed event raised money through ticket sales for Women for Women International. After the session, Taddeo shared her answers to our bookish questions.

What’s the book you always gift to friends?
A Grace Paley Reader.

Which book have you reread the most?
Lucia Berlin’s A Manual For Cleaning Women.

What are you reading at the moment?
Beautiful World Where Are You by Sally Rooney.

What was your path to becoming an author?
Writing short stories every day,
then working in magazines,
always submitting, always always submitting myself.

What is the importance of telling stories?
Making other people feel less alone.

How would you describe your writing process in five words?
Eat, Yell, Work, Pot, Send.

If you weren’t an author, what would you like to be?
Chef-owner of a restaurant.

What’s your most treasured piece of stationery?
Little heart-shaped notes, parchment-colored, expensive.

Beside books, what other cultural things are you currently enjoying?
I plan to spend at least six consecutive hours understanding how NFTs work.

Which book reminds you of home?
All of Elena Ferrante reminds me of my mother.

Which book do you think every school child should read?
Natalia Ginzburg, The Little Virtues, starting at age ten.

How would you describe the concept of a novel to an alien?
A made-up story that is more real than you think.

To experience Lisa Taddeo’s compelling writing for yourself, check out her fiction debut, Animal. Want to keep reading? Find author Zakiya Dalila Harris’ book club answers here and for future sessions, follow us @papier.