Karen Jorgensen Answers the Proustish Questionnaire

Meet the guest(11)Karen 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 Karen 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?

  1. If I could be any fictional character I would be El-ahrairah–prince of rabbits, folk hero in an oral tradition/history–from Richard Adams’ Watership Down.

Q. Who are your favorite heroine and hero from fiction?

  1. I honestly think the best characters are a little shady, hence not really made of hero types of stuff. But given that criteria, I’ll say:

I will always love Katniss Everdeen, from the Hunger Games, for my heroine.

For my hero, I must say Hazel, chief rabbit and good fellow, from Watership Down.

And I’d be remiss if I did not mention: all things Pooh. Any citizen of the Hundred Acre Wood earns the hero title, to me.

Q. If you could have dinner with any three authors, dead or alive, whom would you dine with?

  1. Dr. Suess, Toni Morrison, & Bob Dylan

Q. Do you have a current or “forever” favorite book?

  1. Currently: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz, Golden Delicious by Chris Boucher, Sula by Toni Morrison, Gilead and also Lila, by Marilynne Robinson

& Forever: Tinkers by Paul Harding, Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, & Watership Down by Richard Adams

Q. Which fictional character would you want to befriend?

  1. I think I might like to befriend Paul Harding’s Howard Crosby, from Tinkers. I love this character’s perspective, his imagination, his poetic ruminations, his furtively included celestial journal.

She might be trouble, but I’d like to pick Sula’s brain. I’d of course be sure to invite Nel to our get together, as well. Though, as I’m sure Toni Morrison would agree, I may feel a bit like a third wheel.

Also, Boucher’s character, _____ (from Golden Delicious… and, I’m actually not sure I’m spelling this character’s name correctly!), and I have a lot to work with. He has a pet sentence, named “I am.”, that I think would get along great with my terrier. I, too, dated the theater for a while, so _____ and I would have that in common, as well. A treat really, to hang out with someone whose catchphrase is sometimes “Nice fine good OK!”!

(Boucher’s character in Golden Delicious is actually named _____)

Q. Tell us about the books in your life that have fed your soul, brought you solace, pleasure, or joy, or eased your mind.

  1. If you have not read Chris Boucher’s Golden Delicious, you simply must. It is the most experimentally quirky, pleasingly poignant book I have ever encountered: playful, powerful, sometimes impossibly delightful while others heartbreakingly knowable. This is fiction for writers, for the funny bone, and for the heart.

Tinkers, Paul Harding; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz; Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell; Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932, Francine Prose; A Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood; Sula, Toni Morrison: these texts taught me about the type of novel I endeavor to create, and also intimidated me to the point of hysteria. Upon read and re-read, these works encourage and terrify me; I always return to a state of awe when immersed in their pages. Often overwhelmed with the scope of my projects, I am honored to at least find my kind of story in very good company. A great comfort to me: writing makes anything possible.

Watership Down will have you in tears at its finish, simply because it is over. This book is about rabbits, yes; it is also the greatest adventure story I have ever experienced. It will break your heart, lift your spirits, and grant you a creature kind of citizenship to another, brilliantly delivered, world.

Q. If you could exist in any story world, which would you choose, and why?

  1. Well this one is easy: I would most definitely be a woodland creature, either of the A.A. Milne, or the Richard Adams variety (Winnie the Pooh, Watership Down). I believe my name would be, Sprout.

Meet Karen Jorgensen

Karen writes lyrical prose with an imaginative spoken quality. A fiction poet, who tackles big ideas with rhythm and imagery, she writes from a musical place, located between the heart and the mind: quite literally, this place would be the voice. Karen is fluent in metaphor and simile–these are the predominant languages spoken in her texts, as well. She writes rhyming kids’ books, short fictions, poetry, songs, and is working on her first (multi-genre, split perspective) novel. She lives and loves, all things Oregon.