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Mark Sundeen

January 9, 2013

Mark Sundeen
is the author of The Man Who Quit Money. The book is an illuminating exploration of Daniel Suelo’s adventure to live the good life without money. Sundeen’s nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Outside, National Geographic Adventure, the Believer, and elsewhere. His previous books are Car Camping, The Making of Toro, and North By Northwestern (co-written with Sig Hansen), which was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. He has taught fiction and nonfiction at the MFA creative writing programs at the University of New Mexico and Western Connecticut State University, as well as the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference. He lives in Montana and Utah.

1. What is your hometown?

Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach, Calif

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

Jake Barnes for most of my life. Now, Konstantin Dmitrievich Levin

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

Jon Voight, The Champ-era. Or Ricky Schroeder, also The Champ-era

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

Hey Beatnik This is the Farm Book by Stephen and the Farm
The Last Myth by Mathew Gross and Mel Gilles
Stories for Boys by Greg Martin
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt.

6.  What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

Silence. And Gentle on My Mind by Glen Campbell.

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

Atonement. Unless you’re counting airplane movies. In which case: The Sound of Music. The part where the oldest daughter is singing and then Dad comes in in harmony from the other room. Other scenes, too.

8.  Cat person or dog person?

Dog. But I like cats too.

9.  What is more important, truth or kindness?

True to yourself, kind to others.

10.  How do you define sin?


11. How do you define virtue?

To be neither victim nor executioner.

12. Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

Flat, level with the ground. Things that stick up and protrude are creepy and go against nature. I would like it to be in the family plot in South Carolina, where I’ve never lived, so it would have to include my middle name so that they’d know how I was related. Just name and years is all. By the way I wouldn’t want my body to buried there, or anywhere. Burn it.

Mark Sundeen

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