Welcome to our Author Spotlight, where we shine a light on writers, authors, and literary wonders worldwide.
Today our spotlight is shining on Emily Jaeger, author of The Evolution of Parasites.
1. First, tell us a little about your book/project?
The Evolution of Parasites a collection of poetry and essays about parasites, both literal and figurative. It was inspired by some very wiggly personal experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Paraguay. Robin Levine’s haunting illustrations make this book even more spec/creeptacular. Mentor Joyce Peseroff sums it up best: "Jaeger employs the lenses and languages of science, history, faith, and sexuality to reveal the ways in which one body preys upon another."
2. What kind of research did you do and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
For three months I (obsessively) read academic articles and monographs about various parasites and even Christopher Columbus's journal...because human colonization brings along colonization by parasitic organisms. I'm not sure if I should count the two years of being an on-and-off hostess of parasites--here the research bleeds over into lived experience.
3. If you could tell your younger writing self one thing, what would it be?
Do more freelance writing, personal essays, and reporting! Working "full time" as a writer for the first time this year has been more financially and artistically sustainable than I could have ever expected. I wish I had done it sooner.
4. Can you tell us a bit about your writing space? Is there something you need to have when writing a book?
I have Misophonia so the most important thing about my writing space is quiet or constructed quiet. Pre-pandemic I enjoyed a table in a coffee shop by the window, noisli, and a large black ice decaf. Now I work from a home-office with lots of natural light, a huge poetry bookshelf, and assorted semi-dead plants.
5. If you could be a character from any book for 24hours, who would you be?
Mr. Darcy. Pride and Prejudice will forever be my favorite book. Fashions may change but human folly will never die. I'm already that angsty guy in the corner with a silly amount of social anxiety, and I wouldn't mind courting Elizabeth and hanging out in the gardens at Pemberley.
You can find Emily online on her website and Instagram.