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Jill Ciment, Author of "Heroic Measures" & University of Florida Professor (INTERVIEW)

— July 24, 2009 — Business
A fellow Canadian, Jill Ciment is from Montreal and is the author of several short stories and novellas. She is also the recipient of many awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts and a NEA Japan Fellowship Prize.

Jill Ciment is not only now an Oprah’s Book Club Author for her book “Heroic Measures,” but is also a professor at the University of Florida.

3 Questions With Jill Ciment

1. How do you keep your work on the cutting edge?

Someone once said that art is the arrest of attention in the midst of distraction. These are incredibly distracting times. The way I try to keep my fiction relevant and urgent is to ignore the very concept of the “cutting edge.” 

I’ve peered over the “cutting edge” and there are only more “cutting edges” to come. I write what feels eternally important to me, and hope it speaks to others.     

2. How do you reset yourself to become creative? Do you have any rituals?

I work everyday. That’s the only ritual I practice.  I need to be at my desk and already limbered up should inspiration come. 

3. What is an example of a time where you have thrown away an existing idea to force yourself to find something new?

I never throw away an idea, but I throw away innumerable attempts at an idea. The more merciless I am at chucking out pages, the more interesting and unique the idea becomes.

It’s almost as if exhaustion burnishes away all falsehoods. What’s left isn’t something shiny and new, but ancient and mystifying.
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