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Amy Bloom: an interview

Amy Despite the often-unsettling tone of much of her work, Amy Bloom wouldn’t exactly say she’s a pessimist.

“A friend of mine once said I was a dark optimist,’’ says the author of the dazzling short-story collection Where the God of Love Hangs Out (Random, $15 in paper). “I’m very big on ‘hope for the best, prepare for the worst.’ That seems reasonable to me. There are a lot of unexpected things that are funny in this world in the midst of terrible things. My sister and I, in our early 20s, had to leave a relative’s funeral because we were laughing so hard. That aspect — not necessarily the cruel aspect, the funny aspect — of the way in which man plans and God laughs does strike me funny.”

Bloom, who lives in Connecticut with her husband and appears Tuesday at the Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center in Boca Raton, is the author of the novels Away and Love Invents Us; the story collections Come to Me, a National Book Award finalist, and the exquisitely titled A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award. In her nonfiction book Normal, she explores sex and gender through the life stories of transsexuals, cross dressers and others considered far outside the mainstream. She wrote for the Lifetime TV show State of Mind, which starred Lili Taylor. (She doesn’t write poetry, though: “I’m no good at it.”) In all her work, she’s a master at navigating the perilous lines between human comedy and tragedy.

Click here to read the rest of my story about Bloom, who is one of my favorite short story writers of all time.

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