Quick bio: Rachel Cline is a writer and editor. Red Hen Press just published her third novel, The Question Authority, which took her ten years to write. It’s about a middle-aged woman coming to terms with the lifelong impact of her 8th grade teacher’s bad behavior.
Beyond the Bio: I like to write about women who struggle with everyday life, because I am one of them. I’ve done a lot of different jobs to keep that going: from proofreading the yellow pages to writing (with others) season 13 of Knots Landing and taking the curse words out of Glengarry Glen Ross so they could show it on a plane. For the past ten years, I’ve held various jobs behind-the-scenes at the NYC Department of Education, but I’m “retiring” next week! I’m so psyched to purge my wardrobe of stretchy non-descript black slacks: see ya Marissa/Sloan/Cassidy/Curvy/Sailor/Crop! Anyway, my close friendships (mostly with women I’ve known since the 80s) are what I care most about and what sustains me.
1. On the nightstand: Ocean nasal spray, CBD salve, Stitcher app replaying episodes of “On the Media” I didn’t fully absorb on first listen…and many books. I recently adored The Friend by Sigrid Nunez, Nothing Good Can Come of This by Kristi Coulter, and (older, but I’d missed it) The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer; my TBR pile includes: Trust Exercise by Susan Choi and Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney.
2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Piping up in meetings with that thing no one really wants to say out loud…
3. Jam of the minute: Laura Nyro and LaBelle’s Gonna Take a Miracle never gets old.
4. Thing I miss: My Mom died in August after a wild ride with dementia and though I often hated her, I miss her every damn day.
5. 80s crush: Tom Waits (gnarly, right?), but also lithe, blonde bicycle-riding lit prof Gary from thirtysomething
6. Current crush: AOC! She gives me so much hope!
7. Will whine about: Impossible-to-use/understand everyday materials and interfaces (I’m talking to you, generic Benadryl blister packaging!)
8. Will wine about: Acute decline of my alcohol tolerance post-menopause…sucks. But maybe it’s time to stop reinforcing wine as a universal tonic for living-while-female?
9. Best thing that happened recently: Someone posted a picture of my novel “in use” on the subway—I’m a Brooklyn native, so this is something I have dreamed about since childhood.
10. Looking forward to: I would like to spend a lot more time in the ocean. Any ocean. Also looking forward to getting some much-needed sobbing, stretching, and dancing done at Jen Pastiloff’s workshop in France at the end of May!