The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe

“It is gross. It is amazing.”: Our Pop Quiz Interview with Laura van den Berg

Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by Laura van den Berg! Her first collection of stories, What the World Will Look Like When All The Water Leaves Us was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Award, and her second collection of stories, The Isle of Youth won the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. Her first novel, Find Me is available February 17th from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Below, Laura shares her secret love of a particular fast food item.

Please relate one fact about yourself that has never appeared anywhere else in print or on the Internet.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve never confessed in an interview my weakness for McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish. The cheese is fake. Who knows what that “fish” really is. It is gross. It is amazing.

Find MeIf you had to choose one band or artist to provide the official soundtrack to your new book, who would it be?

The Pixies for everything, always.

Describe your favorite place to read or write.

On trains.

Name your favorite monster from fiction, film, TV, or any other pop culture source.

This is currently an area of great interest to me, as I’m working on a new novel project that tangentially involves the study of horror films. Right now, I’m feeling partial to Michael Myers, who I find pleasingly paradoxical: a monster with very human origins; a man and yet supernaturally unkillable.

What’s your favorite fairy tale, or fairy tale retelling?

“The Werewolf,” Angela Carter’s retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, in which Red is not a helpless child, but a bad ass blood-thirsty revenge ninja.


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