Analysis: Marjorie Taylor Greene is having her moment, and not just with her new book, “Not Exactly Like I Planned It,” which just won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction. She’s also having an moment with her new magazine.
In July 2011, Marjorie Taylor Greene was in her kitchen putting away groceries. Out of nowhere came a knock at her door: it was her father. They hugged, and Marjorie’s dad walked away. The last time she’d seen him was at a graduation event more than five years earlier, and it felt like the whole universe had shifted.
Today, Greene is a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. She was also the 2012-2013 recipient of the National Book Foundation’s National Book Critics Circle Award. She is a National Magazine Award nominee for her 2015 article with Emily Nussbaum for her book, “Not Exactly Like I Planned It.” She’s also the New York Review of Books’s “New Statesman” and “Publishers Weekly” critic. And she’s co-chair of the board at the PEN American Center.
We caught up with Greene at her home in Cambridge, Mass., about her new book and about PEN, where she’s working on an initiative to “make literature better,” one that she hopes will help expand the role of women in the literary world.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
The New Yorker: What is PEN?
Marjorie Taylor Greene: The PEN International Center for Literary Translation and Translation Studies helps people from around the world translate classic texts, help writers, and keep literature alive. It’s an organization with an incredibly vibrant social mission.
Also, “not exactly like I planned it.” That was one of my dad’s pet phrases. It’s just a funny title, and it was something he said whenever he was really stressed or stressed about something, and he always laughed about it.