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Sarah Schulman is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, nonfiction writer and AIDS historian. Her 20th book, LET THE RECORD SHOW: A Political History of ACT UP, New York 1987-1993 (FSG), swept all the gay book awards and even got some nods from the straight establishment. Sarah is an Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at Northwestern University.

LACP Interviews Sarah Schulman

LACP asks Sarah Schulman ten questions about their background, career in and beliefs about writing:

Los Angeles Center of Photography: What kind of writer are you?

Sarah Schulman: I am a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, nonfiction writer and AIDS. historian

LACP: How long have you been writing?

SS: Since I was six.

LACP: Where did you get your training?

SS: I am untrained.

LACP: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to writing?

SS: At age six I wrote “when I grow up I will write books.”

LACP: Did you ever come close to giving up?

SS: Never. Even when I could not get anything published for 10 years in the middle of my writing life, I kept working and completed 2 novels and 2 nonfiction books, all of which finally got published when the world caught up.

LACP: Have you sacrificed anything by being a writer?

SS: When I decided to be openly lesbian in my books in 1984, I gave up a lot professionally and financially, but not artistically.

LACP: What have you gained by being a writer?

SS: A fascinating life, travel all over the world, and doing something that is meaningful to large numbers of people, often on the margins.

LACP: What classes do you teach at LACP?

SS: Intensive Introduction to Prose Writing for All Levels

LACP: What do you love most about teaching?

SS: How quickly people can elevate their work.

LACP: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in writing?

SS: It really isn’t a career, so make sure you have a way to earn a living that you enjoy.