LAist Interview: Jami Attenberg, Author of The Kept Man
New York author Jami Attenberg is in town this week to read from and sign her excellent debut novel, The Kept Man which examines the life of a young woman, Jarvis, whose artist husband is in a coma. It also curiously examines the life of the"kept men" friends Jarvis meets who are able to spend their days as they please because of their wealthy wives. Attenberg's tale is intense, as any novel about a coma patient is likely to be, but her gorgeous prose and her pitch-perfect humor turn what could be a standard-coma-drama (is there such a thing?) into a story that plumbs the deeper depths of what it means to be an artist, what it means to live for your art and how to live - or die - with dignity in today's political climate.
A few years ago, you were interviewed by the mothership, Gothamist, and you engaged in a little... ahem, LA-bashing of sorts. To wit: "I got dumber with each successive day until finally I just started losing my car keys every hour. I really don't feel comfortable with that much relaxation." Do you have any new LA experiences to share that might, maybe, have improved your opinion of our fair city?
You are trying to get me into trouble! I think I had a really limited exposure to LA when I did that interview. Some good friends have since moved here and shown me a different side of it, and I enjoy myself quite a bit whenever I visit. I spend a lot of time in Topanga Canyon, actually. I think if you're just visiting for a few days and you don't know your way around you might miss how beautiful it is here, and how much nature surrounds the city. I have since been schooled.
Have you run across "kept men" in LA or is that a predominantly NY thing?
I can't really speak for LA but I would imagine any city where there's a lot of money and attractive men, the possibility is high. And last time I checked, there were a lot of good-looking men in Los Angeles.