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 team seems to have found a way to extend animal lifespan without genetic modification.
- Using specially cultivated embryonic stem cells, scientists generated mice whose cells had extra-long telomeres.
- Telomeres are stretches of DNA at the ends of chromosomes that help protect the genetic information inside.
- Lengthening telomeres in embryonic stem cells could pave the way toward slowing aging without genetic modification.
The results have startling implications about the evolution of psychopathy in humans.
- The researchers asked about 50 male university students to participate in a mock dating scenario.
- Men with more psychopathic traits were seen as significantly more desirable by women who watched videos of the encounters.
- Psychopathic traits may help men to mimic the qualities women are looking for, but it's a short-term strategy that comes at a cost.
We should care about constitutional rights for all, says lawyer and religious freedom scholar Asma T. Uddin. If they are denied for some, history demonstrates how they may be at risk for us all.
- Islam is being challenged as a religion in America today. Opponents claim it is not a religion, but a dangerous political ideology.
- Lawyer and religious freedom scholar Asma T. Uddin challenges that view and explains why it is a threat to the religious liberty of all Americans, not just Muslims.
- In U.S. history, Catholics, Jews, and Mormons have all been "denationalized" as Americans and persecuted for their beliefs. This destructive precedent is a threat to all Americans, across all belief systems.