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Stephanie LaCava

Stephanie LaCava, Author

Stephanie LaCava Interview

I had a brilliant and memorable conversation with Stephanie at the landmark Chateau Marmont. It was a beautifully sunny and clear afternoon; the courtyard was filled with busy people talking about interesting things.

Stephanie is a journalist and author bouncing between New York and Paris. Her work has appeared in publications such as Vogue, The Paris Review, The New York Times Style Magazine, Interview and Garage. She started her career at Vogue, in fashion and later in features, where she would assist the European Editor-at-Large of the magazine. Today Stephanie seems to be observing, she’s seated in the center of a Hollywood vortex, and as things move quickly around us, she is calm and focused.

She has recently penned an incredible book titled: An Extraordinary Theory of Objects (HarperCollins), a beautifully written memoir wrapped in a unique and elegantly innovative structure. The book was crafted in such a manner, from format to function, that the entire experience is quite magical.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be an archaeologist so badly. I was in love with Ancient Egypt and Atlantis and Greek mythology. My mother tried to tell me I’d have trouble wearing the dresses I liked to wear in the dust. I didn’t understand her argument

What do you love?
I love the craziest things: sea turtles, quirky people, matcha green tea, Anna Karina, James Salter, microwave burritos, haricots verts… the list goes on, all for basically the same reason. You look at them, read them or experience them and are all the better for it.

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Let’s talk about your incredible book An Extraordinary Theory of Objects. How did this book come to be?
I knew I wanted to write something that illuminated what I had found out– or was still looking to find out, about change and control and circumstance so I wrote and wrote and wrote until it came together in what felt right, then pulled out the objects– or in some cases knew I wanted them there when I wrote in the first place and heavily researched each one to compile footnotes that were all skewed in a very particular way… leading to the same theme as the narrative hints at.

What’s your favorite thing about the book?
That it exists as it is. I don’t think I ever thought it could be– and with art that I love and a format I’m crazy for…

If you could have one person read your book, who would it be?
Maeve Brennan- and I would want to talk to her about everything.

What is something you had to learn the hard way?
To think before I speak…. trying right now.

What is one thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?
Probably how much I question everything.

If you could go back in time, let’s say ten years, what advice would you give yourself?
You’ll find a reason to keep going, and when you do you won’t need it anymore.

What’s your favorite word?
Nymph.

Who do you admire?
Joan Didion, she’s so measured and also fun in her own way, clever and beautiful and everything in between.

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@stephanielacava

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
A diplomat.

How do you define success?
Slowly, creating opportunities and being able to care for your family’s medical and education needs.

How do you think we can make the world a better place?
Orgies? Is that funny? Can I write that? It’s 2 AM in Paris…..

LaCava is an active supporter of PEN American Center and its initiatives, as well as the Editor-at-Large at The American Reader. LaCava posts daily on her website, stephanielacava.com, a phantom cabinet of curiosities and related ephemera.

Stephanie LaCava Links

Twitter: twitter.com/StephanieLaCava
Instagram: instagram.com/stephanielacava
For purchase: An Extraordinary Theory of Objects

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