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Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Aug 25th, 2015

We talk with Jesse Kornbluth about his first novel Married Sex: A Love Story

Married SexWriter, critic and author, Jesse Kornbluth created HeadButler.com a website curating items for your head. A concierge at your fingertips recommending the best intellectual and interesting products. He’s a pure advocate on items that many people have forgotten about because they are busy writing about the newest and latest gadgets. He writes about timeless, fascinating and sometimes forgotten things. Jesse is a true renaissance man in every sense of the word. Here, we talk with him about his first novel Married Sex: A Love Story. In this sharply observed erotic tale about the challenges of modern marriage, when a husband convinces his wife to join him in a tryst with another woman, there are unintended consequences.

What is the best definition of a good marriage to you?

Simple: In a good marriage, the people care about one another. Really care. Not because they’re “working” at marriage.

What seems to happen to both men and women during middle age and marriage?

Even for the most successful of us, life seems to deliver less than we expected. We don’t think that’s fair. So we look for more. Sometimes it’s an affair. Or a red Tesla. Or a Birkin bag. But the motivation seems the same to me: a hunger for freedom, a rage against decay and death.

You have profiled everyone for major publications. Who was your best interview and why?

Nobody says Tom Cruise, but I do. I interviewed him in Dallas for Vanity Fair as he was preparing for Born on the 4th of July. Before we met, I sent him a note: “I know you hate to be grilled, so let’s do something.” His cousin picked me up at the hotel and drove me to the Galleria. Cruise was nowhere to be seen. Which was weird, because this is a guy who writes you a thank-you note even before you interview him. At last, a thin man in a wheelchair rolled over. He had scraggly hair and shabby clothes — it was Cruise, working on his character for the movie. As we toured this luxury mall, we talked. At one point, a kid in a wheelchair rolled over to Cruise, and they chatted. I thought how that boy would never get out of his chair and Cruise would, and I had to turn away. When I left Cruise, he was practicing “transfers’ – lifting himself from his chair into a car. On tape, he hadn’t said much. With his body, he was eloquent.

How long did it take you to write your first novel, Married Sex?

John Guare told me he wrote Six Degrees of Separation in 54 hours — but it took him 54 years of living to know what to do with those hours. So it was for me. I had the idea in 1995. But I wasn’t really ready to write it until the end of my marriage, the start of a new one and the birth of our child. After that, it only took a few years.

Do you ever worry about things that may offend people that know you in the book or even your own wife?

Of course. Especially my wife and our 13-year-old daughter. But I fought that anxiety off. It’s a novel, not a memoir. And if I softened what I needed to write, I’d probably be condemning the book to failure. Nobody in my house likes failure.

What do you see as the future for fiction and movies and entertainment in general?

I see two tiers in everything. Interesting, idiosyncratic books, movies and music, made on small budgets, for Volvo-driving, latte-drinking consumers. Predictable genre books, movies and music for the masses. My goal: to write interesting, idiosyncratic books and movies that cross over.

To purchase Married Sex: A Love Story by Jesse Kornbluth, please visit Amazon.com.

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We talk with Jesse Kornbluth about his first novel Married Sex: A Love Story