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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Video Interview: M.T. Anderson and the Symphony for the City of the Dead

What you learn in this life of children’s librarianship is that there is an exception to every rule. For example, normally I do not indulge in video interviews outside of my Fuse #8 TV ones. And normally I do not care diddly over squat for anything directed towards a young adult audience. But Mr. M.T. Anderson has a way of making a girl forget past restrictions. So when I was asked whether or not I would be interested in interviewing the man about his upcoming nonfiction title Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad I said, “Um . . . yes.  Yes indeed.”

Thus, what follows, is a slightly herky jerky (thanks to Google Hangout) but ENTIRELY worth it interview between myself and Tobin.  This is a story I’ve never heard.  I am ashamed to admit that prior to this talk I had only the slightest understanding of what the Siege of Leningrad constituted.  This clears much of the confusion up. And check out this cover!

As for the interview itself, here it is:

Thanks to the good folks at Candlewick Press for setting this up!

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. I’ll be keeping an eye out for that one. I’m a history buff. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. Even if Tobin wrote a book about brownie recipes it would be the most compelling read ever. I have a man crush on the man and I’m not afraid to shout it out to the world.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Sir, if you were to illustrate said brownie recipe book I would buy as many copies as there are children of Manhattan.

  3. I’d love to spend a day or two inside Tobin’s mind. Though he might not like that quite as much as I would. But Tobin is like John McPhee – it doesn’t matter what his books are about, the results are stunning.

    • Looking forward, too, to the graphic novel. Chrétien de Troyes is the author of the famous (and scrumptiously beautiful) grail epic, Perceval. But I’ve never read Yvain, which Tobin is adapting. I know he’ll have incredible ironic fun with de Troyes’ penchant for chivalry and courtly love!

  4. I’m with Dan Santat. Where can I get my copy of M.T. Anderson’s Brownie Cookbook: The Smell of Danger?

    And, in all seriousness, I’m really looking forward to Symphony for the City of the Dead.

  5. Beautiful cover. Illustrator and designer name, PLEASE.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Word on the street is that the illustrator is Kikuo Johnson. The designer I know not.