Skinny Dip with Mira Bartók

Mira Bartok

Mira Bartók, author and illus­tra­tor, recent­ly ush­ered The Won­der­ling into the world and it is already on sev­er­al best of 2017 book lists. Con­grat­u­la­tions, Mira, and thanks for shar­ing your respons­es with our readers.

When did you first start reading books?

Age 4.

The Arrival, Shaun TanAll-time favorite book?

The Arrival by Shaun Tan.

Favorite breakfast or lunch as a kid?

Lunch: grilled cheese sandwich, mashed potatoes, and chocolate milk!

What's your leasst favorite chore?


What’s your favorite part of starting a new project?

Reading all kinds of books and taking random notes, and also going to museums to sketch objects and paintings that relate to what I'm working on.

Barefoot? Socks? Shoes? How would we most often find you at home?

Soft, comfy socks.

When are you your most creative?

When I'm not promoting a book, and when I turn off all electronic devices. And my brain is usually exploding with ideas when I'm either in a museum or walking in the woods. 

Favorite flavor of ice cream?

Mint chocolate chip.

Landscape with Invisible Hand, M.T. AndersonBook on your bedside table right now?

There are several: M.T. Anderson's Landscape with Invisible Hand, two volumes of fairy tales by 19th century Scottish writer George MacDonald, the first Redwall book (I still haven't read the series!), and a new short story collection called The Age of Perpetual Light by a  brilliant young writer named Josh Weil.

What’s your hidden talent?

I think I sightread piano music pretty fast. 

Your favorite toy as a child …

A little stuffed pony named: PONY. 

Favorite artist? Why?

South African artist William Kentridge. Because his work is avant-garde yet accessible, personal and political, and intellectual and emotional.

William Kentridge
A Uni­ver­sal Archive, copy­right William Kentridge

tarantulaWhich is worse: spiders or snakes?

I love them both! I worked in a zoo and handled everything, including tarantulas!

What’s your best contribution to taking care of the environment?

I'm not sure which is my own best contribution but I know that composting and recycling every day is super easy and really helps. 

Why do you feel hopeful for humankind?

It's hard to feel hopeful these days but when I see the little littles of the world experience wonder, it give me hope. So I suppose I feel hopeful because of them.

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