Random House, as part of their marketing for The Frumkiss Family Business, asked Wex twenty questions. These are the results.

1. How would you summarize your book in one sentence?

A comic look at what it means to be a Jew–or anything else–today.

2. How long did it take you to write this book?

Slightly over a year.

3. Where is your favorite place to write?

At the kitchen table.

4. How do you choose your characters’ names?

Not very systematically. I just wait until I get something that sounds right.

5. How many drafts do you go through?

About 8.

6. If there was one book you wish you had written what would it be?

The Bible.

7. If your book were to become a movie, who would you like to see star in it?

Gilbert Gottfried (Faktor), Jamie Lee Curtis (Mrs. Faktor), Oliver Platt (Randall), Eugene Levy (Earl), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Vanessa), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Rachel)

8. What’s your favourite city in the world?

New York

9. If you could talk to any writer living or dead who would it be, and what would you ask?

Samuel Beckett. “Now are you happy?”

10. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind??

No, never. I work in Proustian silence.

11. Who is the first person who gets to read your manuscript?

My wife.

12. Do you have a guilty pleasure read?

Not really. If something’s good enough to give me pleasure, I don’t feel guilty about reading it.

13. What’s on your nightstand right now?

Kleenex. I don’t read in bed.

14. What is the first book you remember reading?

The Hebrew Bible with interlinear Yiddish translation.

15. Did you always want to be a writer?

I thought about it, but didn’t do anything until I was almost thirty.

16. What do you drink or eat while you write?


17. Typewriter, laptop, or pen & paper?

Pen and Paper

18. What did you do immediately after hearing that you were being published for the very first time?

Went back to serving coffee at Timothy’s. There was a long line and we weren’t supposed to take personal calls.

19. How do you decide which narrative point of view to write from?

POV is part of the initial idea. I’ve never re-worked anything from first to third or third to first person. You know what feels right before you start.

20. What is the best gift someone could give a writer?