February 22, 2008
While attempting to find out what Thomas Frank's been up to lately, I discovered an interview I'd not seen before. It's three years old and doesn't cover much new ground, but there's a nice story about a university job interview:
By the time he landed it, Frank had a contract from the University of Chicago Press to publish a book based on his dissertation. His interviewers seemed amazed by this, he recalls, and the main question they had for him was: How did he do it?
This annoyed him. ("I was, like, 'Well, it's a quality book, that's how.' ") So did the fact that, having flown in at his own expense, he was given to understand that he had no real chance at the job. At the end, the interviewers asked if he had questions for them.
"Yeah," he said. "Let's go around the room and each of you tell me: If you had to be a vegetable, what kind of vegetable would you be, and why?"