Kate Sadoff and Andrew Grossman, summer 2022 interns
Kate Sadoff and Andrew Grossman spent the summer at New England Review, producing two episodes of the NER Out Loud podcast, to be released in August and October. They also designed a new display for Davis Library, created posts for our website, weighed in on cover art, and helped out wherever needed. Here they interview each other for our “Meet the Interns” series.
Should we start with the basics? Hometown, year, major, fun fact?
KS: Los Angeles, CA, 2023.5’, Creative Writing, I hate doing those.
AG: Greenwich, CT, 2023.5’, Creative Writing, I also hate fun facts.
KS: Fun fact is that Andrew and I are part of the same original Feb class.
AG: Fun fact is that we hadn’t spoken to each other until this year, oops.
Andrew, what was your favorite part of this internship?
KS: Andrew is too busy editing our podcast to answer this, so I’ll answer instead. Even though I was extremely nervous, my favorite part was interviewing authors for our podcast. We chose the pieces we were both drawn to. The more we read them, the more we loved them, so hearing authors speak on pieces we became genuinely attached to was special and rewarding. Our conversations ended up flowing much more organically than I expected.
AG: I’m done editing, for now. Inevitably I will return to LogicPro as a podcaster’s job is never done until Carolyn tells me I have to be done. I thoroughly enjoyed coming to a beautiful bright office and getting to read exciting new pieces from so many different authors. I also loved reading slush pile pieces and pieces from the new issue back to back. Never has being a creative writer felt so approachable and yet so out of reach.
Kate, what’s your moon sign?
KS: Pisces. Yours?
KS: I knew you reminded me of my mother.
AG: My mother’s also a Virgo. Curious.
KS: And your Sun?
AG: Capricorn. But you knew that already.
KS: Sorry, I wanted this to come off a little more natural. Makes sense. I love Capricorns.
AG: I forgot you were a Gemini. That makes sense too. Andrew grimaces and breaks the fourth wall.
KS: What’s that supposed to mean? Kate scoffs.
They both scroll on the CoStar app.
KS: We have to work to understand each other’s moods and emotions. Andrew, I never know what you’re feeling.
AG: It’s hard opening up; being vulnerable is something I’m working on as a Cap, but if I can learn to trust a Gemini, I can learn to trust anyone.
Do you want to know a secret about Andrew?
KS: He doesn’t know his left from his right.
AG: I just think it’s funny that you asked “Am I clear on the left” when you were in the driver’s seat. Food for thought.
What’s a tip for writing good emails?
KS: Don’t be yourself.
AG: Just avoid them at all costs. Text messages too. If you wait long enough, Kate will do it.
KS: I can’t answer my own text messages, Andrew. I’ve been getting bogged down in email punctuation. How to be lighthearted with exclamations without sounding superficially ecstatic, how to use periods without sounding too stern, how to alternate periods and exclamation points without sounding like a robot—can anyone help me?
Earliest book crush?
AG: Kate from the Mysterious Benedict Society
Formative books from your childhood?
AG: I remember being intrigued by the cover of When You Reach Me and reading it over the course of a single day because I was so hooked. It was baby’s first twist ending, but my mind was thoroughly blown; it showed me the power and beauty of a well written story.
KS: When I was in fourth grade, I read this book called Diary of a Chickabiddy Baby by Emma Kallok. She wrote the book when she was ten years old and it was published when she was thirteen. I became obsessed with the book, and started copying the main character, borrowing phrases from the text, ultimately deciding it was feasible for ten-year-old me to be a published author too. I then submitted a story to Stone Soup, titled “How the Ladybug Got Its Spots.” Needless to say, I faced rejection early. I still wonder, though, if I’d be a STEM major if not for Chickabiddy baby.
AG: Honorable mentions include Because of Winn-Dixie and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and The Tale of Despereaux.
KS: In agreement with Andrew, anything by Kate DiCamillo, the Malory Towers series by Enid Blyton, the Judy Blume canon, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly, Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan, and the Wayside School series by Louis Sachar.
Bonus round, rapid fire: Where are you? What’s your favorite book? What’s your biggest unfulfilled dream? What’s your biggest regret? What was the last nightmare you had?
KS: NER office swivel chair, Sylvia by Leonard Michaels, opening a diner in the midst of the desert that only serves different kinds of pancakes, not taking a language at Middlebury, I’d prefer not to comment.
AG: NER office floor, Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, Hiking the PCT, not having our interns’ outing at the route seven used book shop, Kate’s goose impression makes its way into my nightmares pretty often.
Horoscope do’s and don’ts?
AG: DO focus group, white Flag, erasers, DON’T grasping at straws, keyboard smash, pocket lint.
KS: Pretty apt. You look ready for a keyboard smash. Mine are DO phone calls, waxing poetic, FM radio, DON’T plot twists, feedback loops, half-truths.
NER internship do’s and don’ts.
KS: Look through the earliest exclusive NERs.
AG: Watch for the baby wagon that passes the office once a day.
KS: Pay attention during “staff meetings” and wait for fantastic tangents.
AG: Pet Oscar.
KS: Try Carolyn’s kombucha (if she offers it).
AG: Keep working on getting NER verified on Twitter and IG.
KS: Triple check names and spellings.
AG: Use zoom to record an interview (go see Gary [WRMC]).
KS: Take the earliest exclusive NERs from the shelf.
AG: Smell Oscar’s breath.
KS: Try to print from the intern computers (Eli will be on the phone for hours).
AG: Try to change the Wikipedia article (but actually do, sorry in advance).
KS: Sit in the comfy chair unless you’ve already committed to napping in the office.
AG: Come to Marquis Trivia ever, because we’ll beat you (and there’s never space).
KS: Take it personally.
Kate and Andrew’s compiled book recs (we realized early on in our friendship there was some overlap):
Kate and Andrew’s aforementioned favorites:
Lincoln in the Bardo (George Saunders)
Sylvia (Leonard Michaels)
East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
Franny and Zooey (J. D. Salinger)
White Noise (Don DeLillo)
For something a bit heady:
Unbearable Lightness of Being (Milan Kundera)
The Argonauts (Maggie Nelson)
For the beach:
An Absolutely Remarkable Think (Hank Green)
Nothing to See Here (Kevin Wilson)
Sharp Objects (Gillian Flynn)
We the Animals (Justin Torres)
Tiny Beautiful Things (Cheryl Strayed)
Men We Reaped (Jesmyn Ward)
Excellent short stories:
Sonny’s Blues (James Baldwin)
The Moon in Its Flight (Gilbert Sorrentino)
The Masters Castle (Anthony Doerr)
Favorite non-fic essays:
The Fourth State of Matter (Jo Ann Beard)
Living Like Weasels (Annie Dillard)
Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley (David Foster Wallace)
Slouching Towards Bethlehem (Joan Didion)
Breaking: Andrew and I just decided to start a book club this year. Let us know if you want to join! (Currently Full 2/2, accepting applications for our waitlist).
The Night Watchman (NER author Louise Erdrich)
Nine Stories (J. D. Salinger)
The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
How Strange a Season (Megan Mayhew Bergman <3)
Jazz (Toni Morrison)
A Visit from the Goon Squad (NER author Jennifer Egan)
Norwegian Wood (Haruki Murakami)