Thursday, February 26, 2009

#150 The Family Life and Writing Life of Noam Mor

Noam Mor’s father moved to the US because he believed he could be a success, but he struggled. But his father bought Noam all kinds of reading material at a used bookstore on the way home from work—anything from comics to Nancy Drew to literature--and made him read daily. At 8, Noam decided he was an atheist, and, every Saturday after that, walking to synagogue, Noam and his father and would argue about this—Noam’s constant struggle to identify a spiritual concept in the human condition. Also at 8, Noam was given a great books collection and chose Madame Bovary to read, fell in love with it, and decided to write. His first writing project was 350 handwritten pages of a science fiction novel about a submarine that goes through a huge sea cave and ends up in another world inside our own. Noam worked on it from 8-9 or so—when it was burned, on purpose, by somebody in his household. After that, Noam wrote poetry, as poems were easily copied and distributed in more than one household. But the poems were morose—about dead pigeons, about his father’s early death from a heart attack, about child abuse—so Noam gave up poetry in junior high school and approached fiction again, now with a poetic aesthetic and language. Over the years, Noam resisted his mother’s suggestions that he should give up writing. He studied philosophy, in which he is ABD, and now teaches it at Long Island University. He studied writing, in which he has an MFA, and, in 2002, published his first novel, Arc: Cleavage of Ghosts. Now Noam is finishing a short story collection. Over the years, Noam developed a style of writing from constant practice, constantly rewriting until he gets the language and a certain density—cutting, cutting, cutting. Noam writes a story until it feels complete, then cuts it into fragments—words and sentences—then he mixes it up, tapes it to a wall, and recombines the story. His next book will be about the notion of faith and it will be a great book—narrated in 12 voices, which will combine to form a highly unstable 13th meta-voice at junctures in the text. The other thing that you should know about Noam is that he is glad that he went on a blind date where he met the wonderful Kimberly, who became his even more wonderful Kismet.

[Note: This postcard life story is part of a series of postcard life stories that will appear in Keyhole #6 (guest edited by William Walsh), where all the contributor bios will be postcard life stories--the idea being to make every possible aspect of the magazine literature.]

1 comment:

Jen said...

I love the cutting up and pasting stories on the wall. And I was so sad to hear that submarine novel was burned! I can't wait to get this edition of Keyhole!