Speaker Maria Semple
Host Amy Draves
Date recorded 11 June 2013
Maria Semple’s new Seattle-based book, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, is a hilarious take on our fair city and all it has to offer — Craftsman houses, helicopter parents and, of course, the importance of tech in this town. None other than Microsoft plays a big part in this story of Bernadette, a MacArthur Genius Award-winning architect who loathes her adopted city, her husband, Elgin Branch, a brilliant gadget inventor at Microsoft, and their daughter Bee. Semple, a former TV writer talked to us about her book’s undeniably important background character – tech – and the role it plays in her book and Seattle. The everyday details on Microsoft are pretty amazing – how did you do the research to get all the information on what working there is like? It all appears very accurate and spot-on…It’s one of great compliments that I get now, and I’m just inundated with emails from Microsoft people who love the book and say that I got it exactly right, and they all love it, it’s very affectionate. Bernadette has a few quips about Microsoft, but it’s very affectionate for people inside Microsoft—people inside Microsoft love Microsoft. I thought that wouldn’t be true. I was actually surprised when I went there and everyone was into Microsoft. … I thought they’d be like, “Oh, I wish I worked at Apple.” I didn’t think they would be that happy, but I felt that was real, and I felt that I must represent that.
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