The Hot Chicago Writer Blog

August’s Hot Writer: Ben Tanzer

My genre: I think it’s called, “Pop culture infused real time domestic dramas rife with confusion, coping and endless attempts to communicate, something, anything, and in any way the characters can think of doing so.” Though some just call it fiction.

My literary influences: Endless and varying. And more about the look, taste and feel of the storytelling, than theme or language. Jim Carroll. The Ramones. Don DeGrazia. Dorothy Allison. Scott Haim. Junot Diaz. Andre Dubus. Raymond Carver. Ray Bradbury. The Beastie Boys. Chris Ware. Jay-Z. David Cronenberg. Joe Meno. Lynda Barry. Bruce Springsteen. And Patrick Ewing.

My favorite literary quote: “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

My favorite book of all time: The Basketball Diaries. Isn’t that everybody’s favorite book?

Im currently reading: The Fortress of Solitude by JonathanLethem. Andliterally just finished a number of books including AYITI by Roxane Gay andLegs Get LedAstray by Chloe Caldwell.

My guilty pleasure book: Flowers in the Attic. The greatest guilty pleasure book of all time. Hands down. Done. Outside of Hollywood Wives of course.

I cant write without: Time. And Cow Tales.

Worst line I ever wrote: “Dad explained that while our family would never accept help from anyone, especially the government, there were good people who needed it. I immediately felt sorry for Mrs. Olsen sorry for anyone who needed to rely on others for that kind of help. And I was glad that we would never be in that position.” Oh wait, that’s not me, that’s from The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck. Sorry. Let me confirm with my publicist what I’m allowed to say here.

Brief Bio: Ben Tanzer is the author of the books 99 Problems, You Can Make Him Like You and My Father’s House among others. Ben also oversees day to day operations of “This Zine Will Change Your Life” and can be found online at “This Blog Will Change Your Life” the center of his vast, albeit faux media empire.

A writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for a number of web sites and print publications. Her debut novel, Herself When Shes Missing,” (Soft Skull press) is available for pre-order here. She is also a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicagos StoryStudio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She’s kind of looking forward to it actually.

IMPORTANT: the official Our Town site doesn’t support comments. Join in the conversation by following facebook.com/OurTownBlog.ChicagoSunTimes and Sarah on Twitter: @SarahTerez and Facebook.

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