Sophie Jaff Takes the DuJour Questionnaire

by Natasha Wolff | May 14, 2015 4:10 pm

Sophie Jaff’s debut novel might have love in its title, but the book also manages to encompass some less pleasant emotions.

“I love horror,” says Jaff. “But it occurred to me that there wasn’t anything out there like what I was looking for. Something that combined all my favorite things in one book: serial killers, mythological themes, romance, love triangles, New York in the summer and things that are all connected and have deeper meaning.”

Love is Red delivers. The story follow young New Yorker Katherine Emerson during a steaming summer in the city while Katherine looks for love and a killer preys on Gotham. These two things, readers come to see, are not unrelated and together make up part of one of the summer’s most compelling reads.

Here, Jaff answers the DuJour Questionnaire.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, whose would they be?

I would spend it in one of the shoes of one of the eight million New Yorkers who roam the streets every day. I’m really curious to try being anybody from a taxi driver to a dog walker or a CEO. I’d also love to be a ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet because I’m not very athletically inclined and it would be incredible to be that kind of person.

What’s your favorite hour of the day?

From eight to nine on a Saturday morning, when I’m next to my husband reading beside me in bed and I’m listening to Weekend Edition on NPR. I like that time because everything seems possible and the day has yet to unveil itself.

Did you break a sweat today?

I did. I was carrying two Whole Foods bags and I thought it would be a piece of cake, but then five minutes in it absolutely was not. I’ve become kind of a weakling actually, as I sort of waddle around six months pregnant.

What was the best day of your life?

I more have best moments, just moments of joy. I would say last summer I had a lot of them. My boyfriend, now husband, had asked me to move in with him, I was totally sweaty and we were just walking past Central Park, and that was pretty joyful. And oftentimes I’m listening to 1970s dance music walking down the street and I just feel like everything is coming together and it makes me so gleeful I break out into a dance.

If you could relive any day in history, what would it be? 

I got to grow up in post-apartheid South Africa and I was there for the first free election, and I wouldn’t mind reliving that again because while you stood for hours in line, you stood with people who had just fought for freedom their whole lives and everyone was so joyful and euphoric. It was such a glorious day.

If you could wear a uniform everyday what would it be?

It would either be my gray “I Love Astoria” T-shirt, black pants and black slip-on shoes or like a long, flowing dress and sandals.

Fill in the blank: I didn’t want to today, but I ­­­­­_________.

I didn’t want to tidy up the office in my apartment, but my parents are staying with us. Tidying for me is a personal hell. I did not want to, but I did because my mother has a standard of cleanliness few mortals could ever live up to.   

How would you spend your last day on Earth? 

If I could choose, I guess I would take a long walk with my husband and our puppy through the West Village and maybe down by the river.  

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