Pigeon Pages Interview
with Piper Weiss
Do you have a bird story or favorite feathered friend?
I'm not really a bird person. You know that dream where you're flying? Never had one of those. It's not just the flying, I'm not a fan of bird eyes. They're fish-like and distant. You can't get a good read on what they're thinking. I am just one of those humans who finds the bird life experience unrelatable. I'm certain if you asked birds, they'd feel the same way about me.
What is your most memorable reading experience?
I did a residency at VCCA in Virginia where I wrote a large portion of my memoir. Residents share a sample of their work while there, so I forced myself to read a portion of what I had written for the very first time. It was pretty rough, but it was more cohesive than I realized when I was furiously banging it out in my studio. It was the first time I got feedback, listened to words I had written, and believed that maybe, possibly, I was actually writing a book.
What makes you most excited about You All Grow Up and Leave Me?
That it's done and out of my hands. For so long it was a topic of conversation, then an obsession, then a manifestation of my imposter syndrome, then it was the worst idea I'd ever had in my life, then it was a blissful experience, then it was back to fear for a while, then it was out of my head and free to infiltrate other heads that didn't belong to me. I've been so grateful to each person who took the time to read it and equally grateful for the many incredible people I've met through this process. Books, right?
To tweet or not to tweet?
To tweet in theory but in practice not so much.
What books do you have in your bag right now?
I just devoured three books I'm crazy about: Danzy Senna's New People, Melissa Broder's The Pisces, and Miranda July's The First Bad Man. Right now, I'm rereading one of my very favorite books from last year, Little Panic, the gorgeous, haunting memoir by Amanda Stern. Also, in the memoir realm, I cannot sing enough praises about Sarah McColl's Joy Enough and Carolyn Murnick's The Hot One.
Can you tell us your favorite rejection story?
There are so many. I applied to a slew of residencies over the past two years, and the rejections keep trickling into my inbox just to remind me I'm not good at things, in case I thought I was. Which, residencies, for the record, I did not.
What literary journals do you love?
What shakes your tail feathers?
Dwight Twilley Band's "Looking For the Magic."
What advice do you have for fledgling writers?
Write until it feels good. Then keep writing.
What other eggs do you have in your basket right now?
I'm working on a novel about addiction, music, and the condition of being a forty-year-old woman in the world.
Piper Weiss is the author of the memoir You All Grow Up and Leave Me, named one of the Best Books of 2018 by Marie-Claire, Town and Country and PopSugar, and listed among the top true crime reads by Buzzfeed, CrimeReads and Elle Australia. The Los Angeles Times called it a "brilliant debut," The New York Times noted "Weiss has a wonderful eye for the evocative detail" and author Megan Abbott called her writing "unflinching, rich and revelatory." Her work has also recently appeared in Lenny Letter, Shondaland.com, Piper Brigade, Hazlitt and elsewhere.