Elaine Sciolino on The Council on Foreign Relations Panel
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in an Italian immigrant neighborhood on the West Side of Buffalo, New York
Who are your favorite writers?
Edith Wharton, Maureen Dowd, Garrison Keillor
Which book/books have had the biggest influence on your writing?
William Zinsser. On Writing Well.
What are your hobbies and outside interests?
Playing tennis with my daughter Gabriela. Swimming with my daughter Alessandra.
Finding odd treasures and pieces of history in any second-hand shop in the world. Collecting old iron. Buying old books. Jogging in the Luxembourg gardens.
What is the single best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?
I have several. Here are a few of them:
You marry a package.
If the problem's money, you don't have a problem.
A good book is a done book.
What is your favorite quote?
If he doesn't think you walk on water, dump him. (I tell this to my daughters).
What is the question most commonly asked by your readers? What is the answer?
Where do you get the ideas for your stories? The answer: listening instead of talking, walking down random streets.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My knowledge of Iraq and Iran and the prospect of a war. (And an unexpected phone call from a guy I knew from grad school who became a book publisher).
Where do you write?
In the dining room of my apartment in Paris, looking out at a 19th century courtyard.