Top Shelf With Nadine J. Cohen



For this week’s instalment of Top Shelf, we caught up with the writer and refugee advocate Nadine J. Cohen to chat all things books. Including her own. Cohen’s debut novel Everyone and Everything published this week and is already garnering glowing reviews from the likes of Sarah Krasnostein and Emily Maguire.

A book that made you cry.

I’m laughing because the first thing that came to mind was The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band. The book is a horrifying misogynist nightmare but I didn’t think that when it first came out, which is wild to me now. So one day in the mid-2000s, I was reading it at the hairdresser’s and when I got to the bit when lead singer Vince Neil’s four-year-old son died of cancer, I started bawling. Then I had to explain why the trashy rock band biography had made me cry.

An author whose books you will always read.

David Sedaris. The man can pen a humorist essay like no other and he’s the only author I’ve ever had sign a book. He’s known for the thought and care he puts into each inscription, with book signing queues lasting well into the early hours as he chats to each fan. In one of my books, he drew my vintage Chanel handbag and wrote “The lovely purse of an orphan”. I was fortunate to get to interview him late last year and he was a sheer delight. Sometimes it’s okay to meet your heroes.

Contemporary or classic?

I really wish I could be all fancy and say classic but it’s contemporary by a mile. I’ve read and enjoyed many of the classics and attempted to read many more, but my heart is squarely in the last 100 years. Then again, many modern classics were released in that time period, so I guess both?

Cohen's debut novel Everyone and Everything - a funny and tender story about friendship, grief and the deep, frustrating bond between sisters. Add to your to-be-read pile immediately if you loved Sorrow and Bliss and believe that comedy and tragedy are always in closer proximity than we imagine.

Meet The Women Making Thousands From Their Wardrobes



Read more about Nadine J. Cohen's reading life at PRIMER.


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