GRAND Magazine - July/August 2019 - 19
Quindlen started her writing career as a copygirl at the age
of 18. She began her journalism career in 1974 as a reporter
for the New York Post. She reports loving her time at the New
York Post and what a great place a tabloid was for her to begin
her career. As an affirmative action hire, she went to work at the
New York Times and was there for 13 years, leaving in 1995 to
become a novelist full-time.
Anna Quindlen was deputy metropolitan editor of the New
York Times when she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for
her op-ed column, "Public and Private."
She has written seven best-selling novels, three of which
were made into movies: One True Thing (for which Meryl Streep
was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1998),
Black and Blue, and Blessings. See all of her books on page ___.
She became the first writer ever to have books appear on the
fiction, nonfiction, and self-help New York Times Best Seller lists.
Born in Philadelphia, PA, Quindlen is a graduate of Barnard
College. She is married to New Jersey Attorney, Gerald Krovatin.
They make their home in Manhattan, NY and they have three children. Their sons Quindlen Krovatin (father of her grandchildren)
and Christopher Krovatin are published authors, and daughter
Maria is an actress, comedian and writer.
Quindlen was 63 when Arthur (age 4), her first grandchild,
was born; She now has a second grandchild, Ivy. Her grandparent
name is Nana.
During a recent interview with The New York Times, Ms.
Quindlen reported, "I've heard any number of people say they
don't feel old enough to be a grandparent. The interesting thing
is that our sense of the age of grandparents is completely flawed.
Before I wrote this book (Nanaville), if you'd asked me what the
median age of a grandparent is in this country, I would have said
maybe 65. I would have been off by about 15 years."
"There's definitely the sense of the continuation of the line. I
look at Arthur sometimes and think, somewhere in there is my
mother, who's been dead now for almost 50 years. This is the closest we get to immortality, right?
Anna Quindlen and Kelly Corrigan talk about the 70's
and the moment you realized you can.
I'd like to be able to say that I saw my
children as they were. But the truth is
that over and over, I saw them as
a reflection of myself.
"But the other thing I find so powerful, that I didn't realize
until he was born, is that I'd have this profound sense of connection that I had with my own children - but without that ego
I'd like to be able to say that I saw my children as they were.
But the truth is that over and over, I saw them as a reflection of
myself. How does it make me feel about myself that this kid is
smart or this kid is flagging? It became self-referential in a way
that you knew wasn't right, but was almost inevitable.
I don't feel any of that with my grandchildren. I don't look
at Arthur and say, "Oh goody, he's toilet-trained." I wish I
could have been that way with my kids."
If you're an Anna Quindlen fan (and who isn't?), and
a grandparent, you're going to love her newest book,
Nanahood where you'll learn much more about what she has
to say about her new life stage as a grand.
When GRAND got wind of this new book on grandparenting, we reached out to Anna Quindlen. For this interview, she
agreed to answer questions by email and, like a good journalist, returned her answers well before deadline.
GRAND - One True Thing simultaneously broke and
healed my heart, after losing my mom when I was 19. It is
likely among my top three favorite books of all time. My
question is: Does writing a book about losing someone you
love, as you did in One True Thing, ease the pain or cause
you to relive the loss every time you sit down to write.? It
has been said that writers have to write but I imagine sometimes writing is painful. Did this work bring you heartbreak or
ANNA QUINDLEN - Honestly, I'm not sure it did either.
Although I know people assume it is deeply autobiographical,
Ellen, Kate and George Gulden are so utterly different from me,
my mother and my father that that completely changes my
orientation to the material. The backdrop, the scenery of mortal
illness, owes a great deal to life, but drop a different cast of
characters into it and personally it feels quite different, much
more like something that's happening to someone else because
in fact it is.
GRAND - In the movie adaptation, Renee Zellweger played
you and Meryl Streep played your mother. Which portrayal was
harder to watch? And, as an aside, which actress would play you
if a movie about your current life were made? And what would
the title of the book/movie be?
ANNA QUINDLEN - Again, Renee plays Ellen and Meryl
plays Kate. Having said that, it was much more difficult watching
Meryl because the hair and makeup wizards made her look so
very ill in a way that was terribly familiar to me. It was also worse
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GRAND Magazine - July/August 2019
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