Sar­vas head­shot: Yan­i­na Got­sul­sky; pho­to of Eric Heb­born via Art­net News

How would you describe Memen­to Park in a tweet (280 characters)?

A man tries to recov­er a loot­ed paint­ing that appears to have belonged to his fam­i­ly but in order to do so he must recov­er the lost sto­ry of his fam­i­ly, recon­nect with his own neglect­ed Judaism, and repair his bro­ken rela­tion­ship with his father.

What do you have on your desk?

An action fig­ure of Bojack Horse­man, my spir­it ani­mal. A few can­dles. A chipped bull­dog stat­uette from a Paris hotel. A pho­to of my daugh­ter. Sev­er­al to-do lists.

What are your favorite nov­els that cen­ter around a painting?

Top of the list would be John Banville’s Frames” tril­o­gy – The Book of Evi­dence, Ghosts, and Athena. I also love Peter Carey’s (under­rat­ed) Theft and John Berger’s A Painter of Our Time. And one can­not exclude the urtext of art nov­els: Wilde’s The Pic­ture of Dori­an Gray.

What are your favorite art museums?

My god, so many. MOMA in New York City is close to the top, though the crowds can be exhaust­ing. I adore the Musee Mar­mot­tan in Paris and the Phillips Col­lec­tion in DC. I recent­ly got out to Mass MOCA for the first time and was enthralled by the place. But I also love small­er spaces like the Neue Galerie and L.A.’s own Nor­ton Simon Muse­um (which fea­tures in my novel).

What are your favorite cas­es of artis­tic fakes and forgeries?

I’m pret­ty fas­ci­nat­ed by the life of Eric Heb­born, a not­ed art forg­er who is believed to have made around $30 mil­lion in the eight­ies. He was final­ly exposed and wrote some remark­able books after that, includ­ing a mem­oir and a ver­i­ta­ble how-to man­u­al. I wished I could have used all that mate­r­i­al more promi­nent­ly in my book, and I sus­pect it’s some­thing I will return to one day. You can watch a doc­u­men­tary about him here.

What is your favorite under­ap­pre­ci­at­ed Jew­ish book?

Not under­ap­pre­ci­at­ed, per­haps, but not read any­where near as wide­ly as it deserves to be is Jen­ny Erpenbeck’s bril­liant The End of Days.