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George Hagen Profile Picture

George Hagen is the author of The Laments, a Washington Post bestseller which won the William Saroyan International Prize for writing. Hagen had lived on three continents by the time he was twelve; he now lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children. For more information, visit

From the Hardcover edition.

Good To Know

In our interview, Hagen shared some fun and fascinating anecdotes with us:

""I started out of college struggling to finish the film I directed at NYU. I needed several thousand dollars to complete the film, so I worked two shifts at two different law firms as a text editor. I spent about six months working 16-hour days in order to raise the money. Though the film won prizes in festivals, the experience of being in debt for more money than I had ever seen in my life made writing seem more appealing than filmmaking. All I needed was a typewriter and paper.""

""My book started with an episode that had really happened to me as a baby just after I was born. I was a surrogate baby for another mother in the ward whose child was in an incubator. So every day I would spend some time with her, and some time with my mother.""

""I've had many jobs: movie theater doorman, carpenter, selling newspapers outside the Midtown Tunnel, picking up the guard dog's droppings at a lumberyard, baling hay on a farm, janitor, executive secretary, screenwriter, and stay-at-home dad.""

""Likes: Lucian Freud paintings, Matt Davies cartoons, Jack White's guitar riffs, pinhole photography, steak frites and homemade cappuccino.""

""Dislikes: Almost anything on television -- an infernal device that masquerades sarcasm as humor, cruelty as entertainment, and fame as happiness. It has also shortened the American memory to about a week.""

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