As a teenager, Erica Lorraine Scheidt studied writing at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University and later received an MA in creative writing from University of California, Davis.
Now a teaching artist and longtime volunteer at 826 Valencia, Erica works with teen writers in the San Francisco Bay Area. She's a 2012 Artist in Residence at Headlands Center for the Arts and is currently at work on a second novel for young adults.
Erica Lorraine Scheidt's website
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The author of Uses for Boys explains why she sees her protagonist, Anna, as a strong person.
Q: What inspired you to write Uses for Boys?
A: Childhood, divorce, stepfamilies, the suburbs, The Lover by Marguerite Duras, this word: slut, borrowing your best friend's clothes, thrift stores, The Ice Storm by Rick Moody, sharing cigarettes, the stories our moms tell us, the lies we tell our friends, Francesca Lia Block, first apartments, taking off your bra without taking off your shirt, bathtubs, Portland, parties your parent's basement, Rum 151, faded t-shirts, best friends, sneaking out in the middle of the night, boyfriends, Anais Nin, blue jeans, kissing.
Q: What are uses for boys?
A: It's odd to think of it that way, isn't it? Usefulness, as a lens to look at the world, didn't work for Anna. I think Anna's story, and certainly her experience, combats the idea of using people. Over the course of the novel, Anna comes to see all the many ways that we're needed and all the ways we need others.
Q: The book is written in an unusually lyrical style, with repeated phrases and short chapters. How did you take the decision to write in this way, and will your next book also push the ...
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