Friday, August 28, 2020

Q&A with Joanna Charnas

Joanna Charnas is the author of the new memoir A Movie Lover's Search for Romance. Her other books include Living Well with Chronic Illness. A social worker, she lives in California.

Q: You write, "Movies and men became the focus of my wild middle-age dating life." How did the two combine for you?

A: Throughout my numerous dating experiences, I referred to the many movies I’d seen over the decades and sought guidance from them. I’ve seen about a movie a week in theaters throughout my adult life, prior to the pandemic. Movies are a constant for me and I always made time for them, whether I was single or attached.

Q: Why did you decide to write this memoir, and what impact did writing the book have on you?

A: I started writing A Movie Lover’s Search for Romance for fun. I had a severe crush on Adrien Brody, the Academy Award-winning star of The Pianist. I’d never had a movie star crush before and it unnerved me. Writing about it was an effective way for me to process those feelings, so I continued to write about my love life.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from the book?

A: I hope readers see themselves in these stories. I want them to understand that making mistakes is an opportunity to grow, and that everyone does silly, stupid things, especially when they’re looking for love.

Q: What movies have you enjoyed recently?

A: I loved Dolomite Is My Name, starring Eddie Murphy, which was released at the end of last year. It’s a Blaxploitation version of Rocky, and is based on a true story. I also loved Pain and Glory, the latest film of the Spanish film maker Pedro Almodóvar.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: At the moment I’m compiling notes on a book solely devoted to movies.

Q: Anything else we should know?

A: I seriously considered writing A Movie Lover’s Search for Romance using a pseudonym. I wasn’t sure I wanted to share this much of my personal life with others. I decided to use my real name after much internal debate. I decided that I have nothing to be ashamed of, and to claim the events of my life openly. I hope my readers will do the same with their lives.

--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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