The Mind of Andrew Sean Greer
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.
Question: Why do you use all three names?
Andrew Sean Greer: That’s a great question. It’s because when I first started publishing I was about 23 and I felt like Andy was not going to be taken very seriously, so I called myself Andrew Sean. It was the name my mom would yell out when I was in trouble, so it felt like I could sort of take on a persona of maybe an older sounding person.
Question: How do you respond to a good review?
Andrew Sean Greer: Great relief. I really think that’s it because you have no idea what’s going to happen and then you’re hugely relieved and sometimes baffled that they take you that seriously and it’s a little confusing because you’re often so full of doubt that they don’t seem to notice at all.
Question: How did your childhood shape you?
Andrew Sean Greer: I grew up in the suburbs, which I don’t think shaped me very much. I think what shaped me was I had two parents who were scientists and especially they were great readers. They had both grown up in sort of rural parts of the South and were oddballs where they grew up. They were budding intellectuals. My mom was a chemist and used to poison frogs in her backyard and that kind of think and so we had tons of books in our house. That was their great solace in their lives. They were the only weirdos and so books were always this exalted thing, so they were very supportive when I wanted to be a writer. They had no sense how anyone could make money doing that, but they weren’t going to stop me because that’s what they admired most. I think that’s where I got that.
The writer on his three names, good reviews, and childhood influences.
The TRUTHS mission aims to collect extremely precise data on how much radiation Earth absorbs and reflects.
- TRUTHS would use state-of-the-art technology to precisely measure Earth's so-called "radiation budget."
- The new technology would also help calibrate instruments aboard existing satellites.
- The European Space Agency and UK Space Agency are expected to launch the mission in 2026.
Is information the fifth form of matter?
- Researchers have been trying for over 60 years to detect dark matter.
- There are many theories about it, but none are supported by evidence.
- The mass-energy-information equivalence principle combines several theories to offer an alternative to dark matter.
Does the President get to decide when to ignore the law?
- During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln decided to suspend habeas corpus, a protection in the Constitution that prohibited imprisonment without a trial.
- From Lincoln's point of view, following the law to the letter during that unprecedented and pivotal moment in history (i.e. the threat of war and secession from the Union) would put lawfulness itself at risk, so some restrictions of civil liberties were necessary.
- The war and the president's actions changed how the founding document is interpreted and sometimes challenged by the rule of men.