Andrew Rudd grew up all over the Midwest and moved to Canton in 1999. He teaches about movies and communication at Malone University. He also makes films and screens films, including directing 2019’s Canton Film Fest.
What is your guilty pleasure book?
Every summer when I travel with my family or kids, we listen to YA fiction on tape and l feel no guilt but so much pleasure. Last summer, my daughter and I were almost holding our breath when we had to change discs while “reading” (listening to) “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli (342 pages, 2015). We laughed embarrassingly loud and gulped sobs as tears covered our faces later. All the feels.
What is the book that shocked you the most?
José Saramago’s “Blindness” (349 pages, 1995). It was like nothing I had ever read. Since then, I’ve read all but one of his novels (which is on deck).
What is the last book you read?
The last book I read was the final book in The Three Body Problem trilogy by Liu Cixin (“Death’s End”). While I don’t usually read science fiction, I found these books to have a perfect blend of speculative science, sociological insight, dense plotting, human emotions and poetic expression.
What is your favorite book twist?
The twist was my unexpected response to a book. When I finished reading “Fundamentalism and American Culture” by George Marsden (368 pages, 1980), I was overwhelmed by a cathartic surge of forgiveness and understanding for a culture in which I had grown up (American Fundamentalism) but which had been very wounding for me. I walked out onto the sand of nighttime Myrtle Beach and cried happy tears of release.
What is the last book that made you cry?
I cry at all the books. Every single one.
What book would you take to a deserted island?
Probably Marcel Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past” (506 pages, 1913) which I have more than halfway finished and even though I loved it, gave up out of exhaustion. It helps that the upper classes in19th century France would also be radically different than the everyday experience of desert island chores.
What is next up on your reading list?
I just started another José Saramago novel, “The Cave” (323 pages, 2000), but I’m very excited to read Zadie Smith’s essay, “Getting In and Getting Out,” on Jordan Peele’s wonderful film both because I loved her novel “White Teeth” (464 pages, 1999) and I suspect that she’s about to blow my mind with this essay, AND I’m also excited to read my second Haruki Murakami novel “Kafka on the Shore” (450 pages, 2002) after swooning over “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” (623 pages, 1994) (thanks for the recommendation, Letterpress Jess).
What book have you read that you think the movie is better?
The movie for “Everything is Illuminated” by Jonathan Safran Foer (293 pages, 2002) helped me understand the book in a new way which made me re-read it even though I had loved it the first time through. I thoroughly recommend both in whichever order you prefer.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Milan Kundera. I first read “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” (324 pages, 1984) and then “Immortality” (370 pages, 1990), and I was very taken by the way his fiction is braided with his very singular narration, making the story feel like a personal essay, and I start to think about the events and relationships in my own life as also being a carefully crafted philosophical treatise on … all of the many themes he takes up.
What book did you have the idea for but somebody beat you to it?
When I first read Craig Thompson’s amazing graphic novel, “Blankets” (592 pages, 2003), I found it almost unnerving how precisely he was describing my own life experience. His tone also felt like it was spilling out of my own heart onto the page, but I could never make the drawings he made so I’m glad he beat me to writing it.