Prepping for Love

ULLA MONTAN

OUTSIDER: Having taken on the agonies of private school, Sittenfeld tries the agonies of romance

You'll be relieved to know that it's possible to have a nonawkward conversation with Curtis Sittenfeld. In fact, she answers the door of her sunny apartment in downtown Philadelphia with actual aplomb. Sittenfeld has a dramatically curvy nose, dark straight hair and a loud, appealing laugh. Seriocomic misunderstandings are kept to a minimum as we tour the study where she writes her novels; it's airy and messy — she and her boyfriend moved in last August, but there are still boxes on the floor. So far, you would never know that you were visiting the home of the Faulkner of...

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