Category: writing, etc.

Richard Powers letter about ‘The White City,’ circa 2003

I was recently at home in Chicago and came across an email I received from the extraordinary encyclopedic novelist Richard Powers. I forget, exactly, but I think I emailed him cold out of the blue, to ask if he’d blurb my then-forthcoming first novel, The White City. I also wrote to Thomas Pynchon and Don

Continue Reading…

Category: writing, etc.

The Rumpus Interview w/ David Mitchell

The Rumpus has an interview I did with the brilliant British novelist David Mitchell. Read it here.

After the interview, he pulled a slim volume from his rucksack and read me his favorite poem in the world, “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota” by James Wright.
Over my head, I see

Continue Reading…

Category: writing, etc.

Barry Hannah on WWII & Writing

The great lit Web site The Rumpus has an intriguing piece about the late, great Barry Hannah. Apparently he was a bit of a WWII buff and gave a lecture at Bennington entitled “Military History as Regards Fiction: The Unquenchable Thirst about World War II.” Man, what I would’ve given to have been there.
Brooklyn writer A.N.

Continue Reading…

Category: writing, etc.

On Reality & Its Discontents

Quite possibly the most brazenly insubordinate and thought-provoking book I have read since Walter Benjamin‘s landmark essay “The Work of Art In the Age Of Mechanical Reproduction” is David Shields’s highly hyped “manifesto,” Reality Hunger. (Inverted sentence structure intended, BTW.)
I don’t know if I am yet prepared to follow Shields into the novels-are-not-really-novels wilderness, but

Continue Reading…

Category: writing, etc.

Most Influential Novels of the Decade

Not the “best,” necessarily, but these are the novels, I think, which will cast the longest shadows to the writers of the future.

2000
Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

2001
Tie: Ian McEwan, Atonement; Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections

2002
Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

2003
James Frey, A Million Little Pieces (now that we know it’s a novel)

2004
David

Continue Reading…

Category: writing, etc.

Category: writing, etc.

Category: writing, etc.

Category: writing, etc.

Category: writing, etc.