top of page

Interview with best selling author Bonnie Garmus

lessons in Chemistry, Piper Verlag

Eine Frage der Chemie

How come that this is your first novel? Where have you been so long and what took you so long?

Bonnie: This is actually my third attempt at a novel. The first one I didn't finish, the second one I did (but it was rejected 98 times), and the third is the one you hold in your hands! I've been working full-time as a writer for thirty years, so fitting even more writing into my working day was a little difficult. But it finally worked out.

2. In the german version 6:30 is translated as half seven, but I think you have a reason for choosing 6:30, why did you choose this name?

Bonnie: The name signifies at what time Six-Thirty joined the family. He then assumes this is how the naming convention works.

3. You have a dog yourself, I heard he or she is called 99 is that correct? If yes what lies behind this name.

Bonnie: 99 isn't named for Six-Thirty (Six-Thirty came first), but for a friend of mine. She and I called each other 86 and 99 our entire lives--since childhood! The names come from an old TV show called Get Smart. So when my friend died unexpectedly and we adopted our current dog, we named her 99 as a way of keeping my friend's memory alive.

4. As 6:30 has such a central role in your book and I am a huge animal lover myself and we also have a dog, what do dogs mean to you and in your life. How much Bonnie is there in the interaction between Elizabeth and 6:30?

Bonnie: I've always been a dog person and never feel complete without a dog in the family. But it wasn't until we adopted a dog from the shelter (my kids named her Friday), did I really understand how much we might be underestimating a dog's intelligence. Our dog, Friday, was very smart. She observed us all the time, and in doing so, picked up a lot of words all on her own. When we were transferred to Switzerland, she picked up German as well. In fact, she took the dog exam in German and passed with flying colors. There is some symmetry between Elizabeth and how she takes to Six-Thirty, and how I feel about the dogs I've had in my life. I believe we all have a lot to learn from other species in the animal kingdom--especially those who live with us.

5. Cooking is a central point in your book, and I must say the pure description made me what to eat. Do you cook yourself?

Bonnie: Believe it or not, I don't really like to cook, but I admire people who do. (And I do like to eat!) I'm always trying to befriend people who cook well.

6. Do you have a recipe that you could share?

Bonnie: I'm the wrong person for this question! But I think Nigella Lawson's cookbooks are phenomenal.

7. I have several Nr. 2 yellow pencils, is there a special story behind this special weapon in the book?

Bonnie: No. It's just an idea I had, although I liked using the pencil not only because it's sharp, but because it includes an eraser. I think it's important to remind ourselves that we don't have to define ourselves by events in the past. We can lighten the load by making traumatic memories less visible--less important. When you erase something, it doesn't go away completely, but it does lose its prominence.

8. I found your book relevant and up to date, still you chose the sixties, can you tell me why.

Bonnie: I set it in that era for two reasons: the first, because I needed some reassurance that things for women have gotten better since the sixties--and they have--although we still have a long way to go. But I also set it then because that was when my mother was a mom. It gave me a chance to look back and see what limits she'd lived under and gain new respect for what she and her friends had dealt with.

9. There are two different covers from the English books and another here in the german speaking parts of Europe, which cover is your favorite?

Bonnie: I like all the covers, although am a little partial to the German cover!

10. Are you working already on a new book?

Bonnie: Yes, but I don't really like to talk about it. Sorry!

23 Ansichten0 Kommentare

Aktuelle Beiträge

Alle ansehen



bottom of page