4 Questions: Meghan Daum

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Meghan Daum is the author of four books, most recently the collection of original essays The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, which won the 2015 PEN Center USA Award for creative nonfiction. She is also the editor of the New York Times bestseller Selfish, Shallow & Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers  on the Decision Not To Have Kids. Her other books include the essay collection My Misspent Youth, the novel The Quality of Life Report, and Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, a memoir.

Since 2005, Meghan has been an opinion columnist at The Los Angeles Times, covering cultural and political topics. Meghan has written for numerous magazines, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and Vogue. She is the recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and is an adjunct associate professor in the MFA Writing Program at Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

Don’t miss out: The Alexandra L. Rowan Foundation will be hosting Meghan Daum at the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium on April 6th!


“Daum writes with confidence and an elegant defiance of expectation… There is no doubt Daum is a brilliant, incisive essayist. I would follow her words anywhere.”— Roxane Gay, reviewing in The New York Times Book Review


What comes to mind when you think of Pittsburgh?

I love Pittsburgh. I have been lucky enough to spend lots of time there and I think it’s a magnificent city. I guess what comes to mind are all those old, elegant houses in Squirrel Hill. I’m a house fanatic and Pittsburgh is a good place for that.

What books are on your nightstand?

Vivian Gornick’s The Odd Woman and the City and Dani Shapiro’s Hourglass. They’re both very slender books, which is good because my nightstand is very small. There are a whole other bunch of books on the floor, but let’s not go there.

Is there a book you’d like to see made into a film?

I feel like any answer I give, someone will say “but it has been made into a film!” I’d like to see one of my own books made into a film. None of them have been, so that’s a safe answer.

Who would you most want to share a plate of pierogis with?

Hmm… Czeslaw Milosz? Seems appropriate.

Author Photo by David Zaugh.


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