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The Great Litquake Author Poll

Just in time for everyone’s favorite literary festival (163 events, 860 author, staggering amounts of booze and gossip—all kicking off this Friday), we surveyed 21 local writer types* about the Bay Area book scene. Let the arguments begin!

What authors fantasize about: Amy Tan and Isabel Allende readying for a literary threesome.

Author you'd most like to have a drink with:

“Dave Eggers. Seriously, that guy’s like human Prozac.” —Stephen Elliott, author of The Adderall Diaries

"Wajahat Ali. He doesn’t drink, so I’d get both of our Glenlivets!” —Zahra Noorbakhsh, writer/perfomer of All Atheists Are Muslim

“Actually, I gotta cut back on my drinking with Bay Area authors. Maybe I’ll move to Seattle.” —Tamim Ansary, author of West of Kabul, East of New York


Author you'd most like to wax laudatory on your next book:

“Tobias Wolff doesn’t blurb books, so that would be pretty special. But it would also probably mean I was dead. Which I’m not super excited about.”—Stephen Elliott

“Next book? Let's not get ahead of ourselves. But Michael Chabon." —Isaac Fitzgerald, managing editor of online magazine The Rumpus

“Depends on the wax." —Lysley Tenorio, author of Monstress


Author you'd most like to sleep with:

“Amy Tan. If she worked it out with her husband and she’d put on the dominatrix outfit she wore when playing with the Rock Bottom Remainders.” —Stephen Elliott

“A ménage à trois with Amy Tan and Isabel Allende.” —Joshua Mohr, author of Damascus

"Lysley Tenorio" —Susan Steinberg, author of Hydroplane

"Susan Steinberg" —Lysley Tenorio


Author you'd most like to punch:

"Lysley Tenorio" —Susan Steinberg

"Susan Steinberg" —Lysley Tenorio


Writer whose career you most envy:

“Envy is such a petty, vile emotion. Chabon. Michael Chabon.” —Tupelo Hassman, author of Girlchild


Fantasy book group:

“That’s five mature, sexy women reading my work—clothing optional. Then after I reply, ‘Exactly, that’s what I meant to do,’ we all shower together—lathering, caressing, kissing… Give me a few minutes before I get to the next question.” —Tony DuShane, author of Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk


Best Twitter persona:

“Ayelet Waldman, because she’s a little unhinged, fiery, and very engaged.” —Tiffany Baker, author of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

“I’m gonna stretch the term ‘writer.’ Local artist Jeremy Fish is fucking amazing/rad.” —Isaac Fitzgerald

"'Twitter persona' is an oxymoron." —Steven Boyett, author of Mortality Bridge


The worst audience member at a reading:

"Cell-phone guy. Just-here-to-get-laid guy. Especially when these are the same guy." —Tupelo Hassman


McSweeney's vs The Rumpus — who'd win in a fight:

“McSweeney’s, by a long shot.” —Laura Fraser, author of All Over the Map

“Are you kidding? Rumpus, for sure. I could fight the entire author roster and volunteer staff at McSweeney’s one after another, without much of a problem.” —Bucky Sinister, poet, comedian, and author of Time Bomb Snooze Alarm

“Editorially, I’d lean toward McSweeney’s. They do real books, impressive books. But if we’re talking actual knuckles, The Rumpus would kick the shit out of McSweeney’s.” —Isaac Fitzgerald (perhaps somewhat biased)

“Fight? I think they should gay-marry each other.” —Alvin Orloff, author of Why Aren’t You Smiling?


Best all-time fictional character:

"Anna Madrigal, of Tales of the City. I wanted to rent from her. I wanted to be her. I still want her kimono.” —Tupelo Hassman

"Pretty much every single character in Shel Silvertstein's poetry." —Holly Payne, author of Kingdom of Simplicity

"Jeremy from my second novel, Gutter Boys, because he is me and I am a narcissist." —Alvin Orloff


Fictional character you wish you could be:

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer moved to San Francisco in the comic book, so I'll say her." —Lysley Tenorio

"Sam Spade." —Tamim Ansary