Pamela is one of the Wheels taking over Read.Write.Repeat! They are the graduating cohort in OSUC’s MFA program. You don’t want to miss what they have planned for their episode, which will air May 13th. In the meantime, check out what Pamela has to say about some of her favorite books. You can read more about their project and the upcoming episodes here. Each of the Wheels responded to our Proustish Questionnaire, which will post every day between now and the 13th.
The Proustish Questionnaire
Q. If not yourself, which fictional character would you be?
- That is a really hard one to answer. Sometimes I feel like I change like a chameleon to match my environment. Other times I feel like I’m tasting objects by surrounding them with intent interest, like an octopus’ sucker, as I travel along the sea floor moving with the ocean currents. And, more often than not, I resonate with the bizarre tree sloth, spending most of its life upside down, awkward on the ground but inconspicuous in the forest, feeding entirely on tree leaves, making it hard to move quickly. So picking a character isn’t easy. For now, I’ll say Marya Timofeevna in The Demons.
Q. Who are your favorite heroine and hero from fiction?
- I love books too much to have favorites. I mean, how can one really ever choose? A recent novel I enjoyed (but somehow did not expect to enjoy) had as its female protagonist an older teen coming of age, A.Z. McKinney (The Principles Behind Flotation). I liked her because of her running inner commentary that was filled with a kind of transparent authenticity that I personally aspire to. As far as a hero, because most of the books I’ve read in the last year or so have been creative nonfiction, I also have to return to a long lost (to me, because I haven’t revisited it in awhile): Pedro Archanjo of The Tent of Miracles (Jorge Amado).
Q. If you could have dinner with any three authors, dead or alive, whom would you dine with?
- Definitely Fyodor Dostoevsky — his novels gave me what I needed to understand as an adolescent and young adult reader (whether or not I understood the political undertones at the time); I devoured them.
- Leslie Jamison — I love the way she works with her craft in the vein of thematically linked nonfiction essays that come from her own in-depth research and yet it comes fully synthesized through her lens on the page.
- Isabel Allende — because she has been able to so flawlessly transverse across fiction and nonfiction genres.
Q. Do you have a current or “forever” favorite book?
- No I’m not prone to favorites. But, if I am thinking about books that have stuck with me, I might choose an older and more current book that have been “sticking” to me. For the former, Stephen King’s The Stand. Although I do not necessarily like to admit a fondness for this long lived horror genre author, I also read him voraciously as a teen and the characters and plot lines he developed in The Stand “stand out.” Ha!
- As for current, I’d say Sherman Alexie’s You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me. It is hybrid creative nonfiction and poetry and the courage he exhibited telling this story was quite palpable to me as I read it.
Q. Which fictional character would you want to befriend?
- So many, so many. Elizabeth Kostova’s character in The Historian — I love the way she traverses fiction and nonfiction with historical research — AND really want to ask her WHY she kept going. Maybe this is my contemporary fascination with things that scare me.
Q. What villain from fiction do you love to hate?
- So many, so many. Perhaps Prince Salim in The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan. In some ways, the main character, Mehrunnisa, shines brightly in comparison. Yet, Prince Salim represents the systemic oppression over women in the emperor’s court of the time and the marginalization of women.
Q. Tell us about the books in your life that have fed your soul, brought you solace, pleasure, or joy, or eased your mind.
- As I glance on my bookshelves, what pops to mind are The Hidden Life of Trees, Wolleben; Fear of Fifty, Erica Jong; Living to Tell the Take; Gabriel Garcia Marquez; and Mindsight, Daniel Siegel. I could go on and on and on.
Q. If you could exist in any story world, which would you choose, and why?
- I think, for some reason, I’d choose the land of the City of Beasts with the People of the Mist, deep in a mythical Amazon (Isabel Allende) OR perhaps in any of the Rick Riordan series involving the Gods of Olympus and their modern day demigods.
Meet Pamela Krueger
Pamela Krueger is a member of the Wheels of Fortune cohort in the OSU-Cascades MFA in Creative Writing program. After decades as a writer of a more technical variety, i.e., writing legal briefs as an environmental lawyer, she began a career transition as a writer after her near adult son faced a life-threatening condition that had her by his bedside. So the meaning of being a Wheel of Fortune is close to her heart and experience, i.e., how little control we have over our life. She writes in multiple genres, depending on the mood of the piece, and invites you to travel along with her from genre to genre.
Connect with Pamela Krueger:
Check out www.pamelaleekrueger.com in the future — it is just a shell at the moment.
You can also connect with her on your favorite social media platform:
- Facebook: Pamela Krueger
- Twitter: @PamelaLKrueger
- LinkedIn: Pamela Krueger
- Instagram: pamela.l.krueger
Don’t forget to check out Pamela’s OSU-Cascades MFA Wheels Capstone Podcast!
In this podcast, Pamela shares her views on the theme of the writing life as seen through her multi-genre lens. She shares a short excerpt from a fiction piece called “Always in Transit,” now in its fifth draft that was started with her fellow Wheels and Visiting Faculty Nick Dybek during the June 2017 OSU-Cascades MFA Residency at Caldera. Then she shares a poem in sonnet form relating to her time traversing many Washington State forests with biologists and foresters. Finally, she shares a short excerpt from her upcoming thesis, from the central essay called “Permutations of Pain.” The podcast concludes with a short interview of her first reader / editor of Tsunami Island, a young adult adventure novella she wrote to commemorate her triplet nieces and nephew’s B’nai Mitzvah.