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20 QUESTIONS WITH: Stacy Morrison, author of Falling Apart in One Piece

20 Questions with the author of Falling Apart in One Piece
Stacy Morrison

1.      Bookmarks or dog ears?

Dog ears of all different sizes: big means I'm marking the page; small means I'm marking a passage I want to be able to return to. But every once in awhile I read a book I don't want to mar, and I'll use an old concert ticket for the bookmark; it doubles my pleasure.

2.      Dust jacket on or off when reading a hard back?

On! I use it as a bookmark quite often. Doesn't everybody?

3.      Favorite author?

My favorite authors--the authors I collect and read and re-read--are poets: Rainer Maria Rilke, Rumi, Khalil Gilbran, Jane Kenyon. But I absolutely love being amazed by new discoveries and old favorites in fiction and non-fiction on a regular basis.

4.      Favorite genre'?

I'm an omnivore: I like it all.

5.      What is the best book you have read in the last year?

I was blown away by Great House by Nicole Krauss. It was beautiful, moving, poignant, smart, and the structure was just perfection, leaping easily between time periods and yet somehow keeping the book's fantastic secret until the last pages.

6.      What book would you most like to see made into a movie?

My book, of course! But truly, I don't tend to see movies of books I've loved; I hate to have my deeply personal and intimate experience interrupted by other people's visions.

7.      E books: Friend or foe?

I'm a new fan. I dreaded carrying around Johnathan Franzen's sizable Freedom, so it made perfect sense to make it my first book to read on the iPad. And I find the experience of reading electronically to be totally engrossing in a different, but just as powerful, way. The evening I bought Freedom, I was up until 1:30am with the book!

8.      Was there a book that inspired you to write?

Oh, everything inspires me to write. Living inspires me to write. Meeting and talking with people about how we manage the gifts and burdens of consciousness is what inspires me the most.

9.      What are you reading right now?

"Flow," a completely engrossing and brilliant nonfiction book all about the elusive, yet totally quotidian, experience of finding yourself in harmony with your mind's attention, whether in a creative pursuit like writing or just walking through the forest. I can't believe I haven't read this book yet! It's almost 10 years old! How did i miss it?

10.     What is the last book you bought just for the cover?

Penguin Books has this wonderful little series called "Great Ideas," small, fine ivory books with letterpressed covers that repackage some of history's most influential writings. Each cover is totally different, representative of the art or design of its era, and I grazed for about 40 minutes before settling on Michel De Montaigne's "On Friendship" and  I know, it sounds so terribly geeky, but the books are fantastic.

11.     What is the last book you received in the mail?

Loretta Lynn's "Coal Miner's Daughter." My boyfriend bought it for me because both my parents died quite suddenly last year, and so my brothers and I have been doing family research as we've learned new things about our parents' family histories. My mother was born in a small coal town in West Virginia, the daughter of a coal miner, war hero and later, federal mine inspector, so he thought I'd appreciate hearing a first-hand account of life in the "hollers." And he's right! I do appreciate it!

12.     What is the number of books you own?

I try to shed, give away and pawn off dozens a year to keep the piles in order, but books follow me home. So somewhere around 400 maybe? I also try not to count.

13.     What is the first book you remember reading by yourself as a child?

An amazing book called "Repetto's Toy Store," that had paper-and-popsicle-stick "puppets" you moved from page to page as the story unfolded: a cat, a clown, Red Riding Hood and a brown bear, and one other that's lost to memory. My brothers and I read that book until it fell all to pieces, and we just rediscovered it in our parents' attic. Oh joy! We couldn't believe it, and all of us were instantly thrown back to being five years old.

14.     Do you have a favorite place to read?

In bed, of course. And I really like reading on the subway, too.

15.     What is next for you, publishing-wise?

I have a few ideas I'm working on at the moment. It still feels too risky to suggest I might write another, lest the gods of ego shoot me down for assuming that would be my luck. Right now I'm pretty absorbed in turning my book website,, into a community and am writing a lot of new content for that. So many people wanted to talk with me about resilience after Falling Apart came out, and I wanted to share all those conversations. They were so heartening and wonderful; none of us is in this life journey alone, and company provides good comfort. That's just one of the reasons people get so much out of books.

16.     Do you have a favorite place to write?

I write at the Brooklyn Writers' Space in my neighborhood (thanks Scott Adkins and Erin Courteney!). I find that sitting in a little cubby in a quiet room is really the best way to make me step away from the internet and get busy inside my head.

17.     Do you have any pets ?

A beautiful cat named Sidney, who was the gift-with-purchase when my boyfriend moved in with my son and me about a year ago.

18.    How does your garden grow?

I am the daughter of two avid gardeners, but I live in New York City. But some of the first words my son learned in his first year of speaking were "forsythia," "lilacs," "hydrangea," "tulips," "hosta" and "geraniums," all the flowers we would pass on our walks to the park. And when I owned a house with a real backyard for a brief time (the cursed house that was falling apart as my life was falling apart, all documented in my book), I grew six different kinds of heirloom tomatoes. Heaven! (The dark purple Cherokee is my absolute favorite, musky and sweet.)

19. The last thing you Googled?

A map of North Africa, trying to get a sense of the chaos unfolding there, my heart in my throat for all the people risking their lives for ordinary dreams of being allowed to be human.

20.     What makes you cringe?

When I hear people in restaurants being rude to their waiters. There's really no excuse for not being polite, even when you're damn irritated. I mean, it's just dinner, people.

Author Bio
Stacy Morrison
, author of Falling Apart in One Piece: One Optimist's Journey Through the Hell of Divorce, is the editor in chief of Redbook magazine.  She was formerly executive editor at Marie Claire and editor in chief of Modern Bride, and has appeared as an expert on women, love, sex, money, and more on Today, CNN Moneyline, and The Early Show, among many other television programs.  Stacy lives in Brooklyn with her son, Zack.
 I would like to thank Stacy for stopping by BookHounds today.  Be sure to get her fabulous book at your favorite book store!

Here is a little bit about her book:


The emotionally charged story of a divorce that brought the surprising gift of grace Just when Stacy Morrison thought everything in her life had come together, her husband of ten years announced that he wanted a divorce. She was left alone with a new house that needed a lot of work, a new baby who needed a lot of attention, and a new job in the high-pressure world of New York magazine publishing.
Morrison had never been one to believe in fairy tales. As far as she was concerned, happy endings were the product of the kind of ambition and hard work that had propelled her to the top of her profession. But she had always considered her relationship with her husband a safe place in her often stressful life. All of her assumptions about how life works crumbled, though, when she discovered that no amount of will and determination was going to save her marriage.
For Stacy, the only solution was to keep on living, and to listen—as deeply and openly as possible—to what this experience was teaching her.
Told with humor and heart, her honest and intimate account of the stress of being a working mother while trying to make sense of her unraveling marriage offers unexpected lessons of love, forgiveness, and dignity that will resonate with women everywhere.


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