Amy Bloom is the author of three collections of short stories, a collection of essays and four novels. Her new novel White Houses is out this month with Granta Books. She shares five things she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.

 

1. Uppsala

I have friends moving to Uppsala for a year and I am planning on visiting them. When I plan (google, stare out the window) I see myself crossing fjords while wearing a colorful wool scarf and then visiting the Augsburg cabinet of curiosities. I’ll be tall and blonde and stroll through the famously baroque Botanical Garden. I see myself eating a little of their salty licorice and firmly refusing to eat even a little surströmming, which is rotted fish. I ate it in Norway, where it’s called lutefisk and it was disgusting.

 

2. Lucky Us, a musical based on one of my novels

I am working on the most unlikely project of my adult life (and I have been married more than once), which is collaborating with a hugely famous composer, a famous-enough song writer, a wonderful director and a skilled librettist. One of my best friends, an award-winning director, worked on a musical with an even more star-studded group, for a full eight years before it died of natural causes, in one weary Sunday afternoon voicemail. On a good day, it’s like being one of a group of motley cats, herded about by passing, sadistic children.

 

3. Kale

I have tried for four years with kale. Now I chop it very fine (chiffonade!), cover it in toasted almonds and blueberries and toss with a citrusy vinaigrette. I eat that salad four times a year. That’s it.

 

4. The Death of Stalin

I loved every minute of this satire. Each actor was a joy and Jason Isaacs, as General Zhukov is, apparently, the man of my dreams. When they shot Beria, I could hear my late father, laughing his ass off and shouting, just as Nikita Khrushchev does, ‘You fat fuck, you had it coming!’

 

5. Brittany Howard

My love for her runs deep, through Alabama Shakes and into her new side-group, Bermuda Triangle. She could sit on stage with an accordion and a hand puppet and I’d be in the front row, clapping and crying.

 

 

Artwork © Molly Dilworth

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Fathers and Sons