• Fri. May 24th, 2024

The Paradox of Vertical Flight by Emil Ostrowski Interview



“I’m twenty-three.

Rather than give you a witty, self-deprecating account of the trials and tribulations of my twenty-three year old, suburban, upper-middle class, went-to-a-girl’s-liberal-arts-college life, I’ll admit that I haven’t really done anything much worth reading about.

So in lieu of providing you with my biography, I will recommend that you read Desmond Tutu’s.  Here.

Why Desmond Tutu?

Well, I’ve always liked his name.”


What happens when you put a suicidal eighteen-year-old philosophy student, his ex-girlfriend, his best friend, and his newborn baby in a truck and send them to Grandma’s house? This debut novel by Emil Ostrovski will appeal to fans of John Green, Chris Crutcher, and Jay Asher.

On the morning of his eighteenth birthday, philosophy student and high school senior Jack Polovsky is somewhat seriously thinking of suicide when his cell phone rings. Jack’s ex-girlfriend, Jess, has given birth, and Jack is the father. Jack hasn’t spoken with Jess in about nine months—and she wants him to see the baby before he is adopted. The new teenage father kidnaps the baby, names him Socrates, stocks up on baby supplies at Wal-Mart, and hits the road with his best friend, Tommy, and the ex-girlfriend. As they head to Grandma’s house (eluding the police at every turn), Jack tells baby Socrates about Homer, Troy, Aristotle, the real Socrates, and the Greek myths—because all stories spring from those stories, really. Even this one.

Funny, heart-wrenching, and wholly original, this debut novel by Emil Ostrovski explores the nature of family, love, friendship, fate, fatherhood, and myth.

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You might be wondering what goes on in the mind of a talented writer. Well guess what? I’ve trepanned the insides of Emil’s brain and have brought you insight inside a writer’s brain!

Just kidding. There was no trepanning. But, I DID ask some thought provoking questions, which is kind of like getting inside someone’s brain, right?

UNCONVENTIONAL LIBRARIAN:  Welcome! We are glad to have you hear. Let’s get started with with a few questions. Do you drink coffee?

EMIL OSTROWSKY: ‘Drink’ doesn’t quite cover it.  More like consume.  I am a coffee consumption machine.

UL:  Ah so you’re a consumer. I reckon you and I might need to share an IV drip. Do you like donuts or cookies? Do you dunk?

EO: I think this is a false dichotomy.  I like both.  But I do not support dunking.

UL: I applaud your use of the word dichotomy; however, we may have to break up over your lack of dunking ability. Allow me to get serious for a moment. How did your book get started?

EO: With the first word!

UL: Touche. What else have you written?

EO: I’m currently revising a novel set in a university for terminally ill youth.  I’ve written lots of other stuff, though, including a fifteen page tragic love story about a hummingbird and an apple. 

 UL: Wow. That topic sounds pretty depressing. Those poor hummingbirds.  If you could have any superpower what would it be?

EO: The power to get on the New York Times bestseller list.

UL: Yes, I understand many writers wish they had that superpower. What makes you happy?

EO: Friends.  Poems.  Stories.  Random acts of kindness and humanity.  Sushi.  Philosophy and/or beautiful ideas.  Caramel Frappuccinos.  

UL: Acts of kindness and humanity are pretty great. So are Frappuccinos.  Wrapping up now, anything else you want to tell us?

EO: I also write short stories!  If you’re interested, check out my latest (available for free) at: http://www.wordriot.org/archives/6768

UL: You heard it here first, folks. Check out the  link and get free stuffs!


Release Date: September 24, 2013

Hardcover, 260 pages

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Genre: Contemporary / Realistic Fiction / Tough Issues / Suicide


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