Andrew Sean Greer: On Political Activism
Andrew Sean Greer is an American novelist and short-story writer. The New York Times called his 2008 novel The Story of a Marriage “lyrical” and “inspired.” His first novel, 2001’s The Path of Minor Planets, was well received, and his second, 2004’s The Confessions of Max Tivoli, earned him comparisons to Proust and Nabokov from critic John Updike. His stories have appeared in Esquire, The Paris Review, The New Yorker, and other national publications. Born in Washington, D.C., Greer received his bachelor’s degree from Brown University and his master’s degree from the University of Montana. He currently resides in San Francisco. Greer was so well received as an undergrad that his classmates elected him the commencement speaker, for his own graduation.
Andrew Sean Greer: I don’t think I’m a gay activist. I used to be. I used to be, like, Act Up back in the day, you know, lying down on the sidewalk and getting chalk drawn around me, but I think I got a little more general about it when the Bush administration came in. I saw that there were much bigger rights
being trampled than just mine particularly. There were general civil rights and that was what I really focused on.
Question: Who are you supporting for president?
Andrew Sean Greer: Barack Obama. You know, I was an Edwards guy at first because he talked about poverty, which I think is really the only issue to be talking about, but once he dropped out I was definitely Obama. I saw all my friends so inspired by him and I sort of saw there was a feeling like there could be a move forward after feeling for so long that if we could just stop it, the Bush administration, that would be enough. If we could just stop it, I would be fine. But suddenly the idea that someone who actually said things that I thought, like his speech on race was exactly how I feel. There could be a politician who would say that out loud, I never dreamed I could support that because I don’t have a fantasy about politicians. I kind of think well, they’ll get close enough. You know, they won’t ever really do exactly what I want, but on this I always thought I lived in a bubble, but most of America seems to believe it too and that’s so optimistic and I have to follow the optimism.
His writing is universal, and so are his politics.
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