Dan Smith’s second book, “Monkey Mind,” is a warm and painful look into his life-long struggle with anxiety and paradox. The same dogged interrogation of his psyche which antagonizes and often undermines him is redirected here in service of understanding and healing. What results is a patient, emotional and often funny catalogue of how he became such a mess of insight. The Arty Semite caught Smith on a good day, as he was gearing up for the book’s July 3 release, and as he made his daughter lunch.
Micah Kelber: I called you from a blocked number. What were you thinking before you answered the phone?
Dan Smith: I get excited by blocked calls because it means something official is coming through. I get anxious when someone I know is calling and then I might have to talk to them longer than I want to and then I have to worry whether they hate me when I get off the phone.
Who is the least anxious person you know?