Interview by Carlos Detres
Alfred Hitchcock believed that there were only two kinds of people — voyeurs and exhibitionists. Stephen Elliott is some hybrid of the two, illustrating a unique perspective of the world in which he lives.
Okay, so, yes, this interview is short and doesn’t quite get at one of the most exciting authors in recent years but, San Francisco-based Stephen Elliott, is a helluva gutsy writer who continues to share the most intimate details of his life onto the pages he writes in.
Amy Tan said of Elliott’s The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir of Moods, Masochism, and Murder, “Reading The Adderall Diaries is like peering over the edge of a cliff. Normally we shudder and step back, Stephen Elliott jumps, and his harrowing, riveting memoir convinces you to follow him vicariously.”
Stephen Elliott is one of our feature readers for our event, BLACK INK, which takes place on 4/10 at Angels and KIngs.
1. What was the motivation behind The Adderall Diaries?
I didn’t really have a motivation behind The Adderall Diaries. I was just documenting my life, trying to make sense of things. It didn’t start out as me trying to write a book.
2. Your memoir was on many Best of 2009 lists. How do you feel about the growing success of your book?
I feel great about it. And grateful.
3. The book contains very private accounts of your life. Is it ever unnerving to teach workshops and perform at readings knowing that your audience are aware of very intimate details about your life?
It’s comforting. It’s like being out of the closet. It’s the way a transvestite might feel walking down the street in a dress, I think.
4. How did your friends and family react to your memoir?
Pretty good, mostly. One girl read it after we had slept together and she was really unnerved by it. I had given it to her, actually. And she said, “Why did you want me to read this?” She said she wanted to feed me anti-depressants by hand.
5. Do you have any upcoming projects that you’d like to share info about?
I’m teaching a class in Manhattan March 11. Writing From Experience
BLACK INK takes place on Saturday, April 10
Doors open at 7:30pm
Readings at 8:00pm
ANGELS AND KINGS
500 East 11th Street
New York, NY 10009