Zelda in Tommy Wallach’s ‘Thanks for the Trouble’ is beautiful, mysterious, claims to be over two hundred years old and managed to change Parker’s life over the course of a single weekend. Naturally, we had a few questions for her.
Describe yourself in 3 words. Only three? Impossible.
What’s the most interesting thing about you? Well, I imagine most people would say it’s the fact that I was born in 1770 and am somehow still alive. But that’s hardly the only fascinating thing I bring to the table. For example, I can differentiate between more than fifteen varieties of scotch by smell alone, and I once met Salvador Dali at a party (he was rather boring, once you got past the mustache).
What has been the single most important moment in your life so far? Meeting Nathaniel, the man who would become my second husband, in the lobby of the Palace Hotel. I was working as a waitress. He was trying not to stare.
What has been your favourite historical moment to witness? That’s an easy one. The George W. Bush White House, obviously. Just kidding. As I’ve said many times before, the greatest historical moment is always the present, particularly if you’re a woman. That being said, living in New York City during what we now call the Jazz Age was a singularly heady experience. So much gin…
Most expensive item you’ve ever bought? What a gauche question! Well, I’m certainly not going to give you any hard numbers, but at the beginning of the 20th century, I may have splurged on a Cartier watch in the art deco style. I had to pawn it for a tenth of what it was worth less than a decade later, but I still can’t say I regretted the purchase. It was the kind of watch that you wore to make everyone at a party hate you a little. Glorious.
Which book would you like everyone to read? Everything by Goethe, but considering your audience, I’ll recommend ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’. It’s about a young artist who falls in love and then kills himself, as all true lovers must.
Describe your perfect day. Wake up with a light hangover and sit down to an enormous breakfast. Take a nap. Go to a museum or walk along the ocean in the afternoon. Make love in a warm place with a cool breeze. Have a picnic involving lots of cheese for dinner. In the evening, take in a film, then find a party where there’s dancing. Make sure you have someone to kiss at midnight (I’ve never understood why we limit that practice to New Year’s Eve).
What would you like to ask Zelda? Send your questions to @tommywallach and @maximumpopbooks!
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