SNL writer and nabe resident Simon Rich is profiled by the London Evening Standard today. His Elliot Allagash: A Novel is published in the U.K. this week:
London Evening Standard: Rich is bubbly and outgoing but he chooses his words carefully. His boyish countenance, dishevelled hair, pencil-thin frame and pink shirt bring to mind a grown-up Harry Potter, with enough geek-cool to perhaps be in a band.
Refreshingly for a Brooklyn writer, however, he considers himself as the antithesis of hipness.
“I’ve never been a cool person. I think I’m an old-fashioned writer and a really old-fashioned person. When I was young I tried to write cool, trendy stuff. I wanted to impress the girls at my high school and wrote short stories that had footnotes. But I was never really good at it and it never felt honest to me.”
Sadly, Rich doesn’t think he’s at the vanguard of a new breed of American writers who not only worship Waugh and Wodehouse but strive to emulate their writing style. He fears for the future of the “silly comedy novel”, his chosen genre. “Ever since I was a kid I dreamt of writing them and I’m going to keep doing it but I don’t know if that genre is going to be around for that much longer.”