Amy Bloom Interviewed for Book Review Podcast

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, whose new collection Where the God of Love Hangs Out
was published in January, was a guest on The New York Times Book
podcast this past weekend. Click here
to listen to her interview with Sam Tanenhaus, editor of the Times
Book Review
. The podcast accompanies Francine du Plessix Gray’s rave
in the Sunday Times

“Bloom, who is also a psychotherapist,
vividly chronicles the inner lives
of people caught in emotional and physical constraints — illnesses they
are striving to survive, regrets they are trying to allay, desires they
often dare not fulfill.”

“There’s a lot of love in this book,” Tanenhaus notes in the podcast,
“and a lot of sex.”

“Well, there is,” Bloom says. “It’s pretty
much love, sex, death, family, and friends. The same old. And I thought,
that’s pretty much what I write about… The hardest thing for me is to
write a really good sex scene without either embarrassing myself or
making horrible mistakes. You know, there’s a reason they have that bad sex writing
, and there’s a reason that there are so many successful

One pivotal story finds a teenager showing his brother
with a peach how to please women. “I think when you’re writing about
sex,” Bloom says, “you can’t really beat fruit… I could see the other
one trying to say to the younger one, Here are the things that matter.
Don’t be fooled by other teenage boys.”

There’s more in the
podcast, including Bloom’s fondness for writing male characters and how
she revises her work.

Two stories in Bloom’s collection were
first published in Ploughshares, in 2002
and 2006.
excerpt from Where the God of Love Hangs Out
is available
on the Random House website.