Narrative 10

We caught up with Will Schwalbe as he marked the publication of his latest book, We Should Not Be Friends: The Story of a Friendship.

1. Who is your favorite character in fiction; your fave character in life?

When I was sixteen I fell in love with James Steerforth from David Copperfield. I loved that he saved David and also that he was flawed and would himself need saving. In the decades since, I’ve read hundreds of books and fallen in love with countless fictional characters. But each time I think about elevating anyone over Steerforth, I feel as if I’m betraying a lifelong friend. So it’s still Steerforth. It has always been Steerforth. It will always be Steerforth. As for my favorite person in real life, I’m delighted to report that’s unchanged as well. Though there aren’t any close contenders: it’s my husband. In the acknowledgments for my new book I wrote that I don’t know why he’s stuck with me for the past thirty-eight years and counting—but I’m sure glad he has.

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