Author Archives: Robert Birnbaum

James Lasdun

James Lasdun

“A lot of hip-hop and rap, I think, is spectacularly good and so much more interesting than official poetry. It’s on another level altogether.”

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Chip Kidd on Chip Kidd: Book One, Work: 1986-2006

Chip Kidd

“My career is riding on the backs of Knopf’s authors— is how I totally see it. It’s not the other way around.”

Posted in Artist Interviews, Author Interviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Marc Estrin

Marc Estrin

“It is more reasonable to write a four- or five-hundred-page novel in terms of people actually reading it and not using it as a doorstop. It’s not my particular reading taste, though.”

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Adam Nicolson

Adam Nicolson

“The American middle-ground culture, particularly on the coasts, is alive and well in a way that has disintegrated in England. We have academic dried seriousness. Desiccated seriousness. Or a kind of tabloid vulgarity, and we don’t have these middle-ground writers.”

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Paul Collins

“I don’t know if McSweeney’s could have happened 15 or 20 years ago. It has an almost defining reliance on e-mail.”

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Frederick Busch on North: A Novel

Frederick Busch

“It’s hard to read real fiction. It takes time. It takes a sustained attention. You can’t as easily zoom in and out of it as you can nonfiction.”

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sarah Vowell on Assassination Vacation

Sarah Vowell

“I like the distance of talking about the long dead. There are some very serious parts of the book and some mournful ones, but there is some joking around, and you can do a little less of that when someone’s daughter and brother are mourning them.”

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Richard Marinick

Richard Marinick

“That’s what I saw. Anything I held back—I pulled the reins back a few times because I was afraid I wouldn’t get it published if I really, really wrote everything.”

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Alma Guillermoprieto

Alma Guillermoprieto

“Only the Cubans who have lived there for the last forty-six years really know Cuba. It takes those forty-six years of endurance and subtle interpretation of the winds of change and also closeness to the gossip of the revolution, to have some sense of what is going on.”

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged , , | 1 Response

Courtney Angela Brkic

courtney angela brkic

“In that war, clearly one of the reasons it became so hard to draw the line was because people didn’t know who was dead and who wasn’t.”

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Nick Flynn

Nick Flynn

“Everyone gets scarred in some way. Mine may be a little more prominent, but from the scars, though, certain things come out of it. You also get certain gifts.”

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Eva Hoffman

“On the one hand—I don’t know if this is just my critical perverseness—I was unhappy with the kind of reification of the notion of the Second Generation, the mystification of that.”

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What Birnbaum’s Reading – February 2005

Christopher Hitchens‘s introduction to his Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays “The Crime that Never Was” from Charles D’Ambrosia’s essay collection, Orphans Colm Toibin’s New York Times Book Review piece on Hitchens’s Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays A Century of November by WD Wetherell An Uncommon Man by Francine Prose Articles of […]

Posted in What We're Reading |Leave a comment

Russell Banks

Russell Banks

“One of the things I have tried to do with this book–and with all of them really–is avoid that simple, easy, reductionist view of motivation and to show we do things for a complex net of reasons, a real braid of reasons. Nobody does anything for one reason.”

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged , , | 3 Responses

Blake Bailey

Blake Bailey author portrait

“Yates’s life was always more depressing to other people than it ever was to him. As long as the writing was going well, Yates didn’t much care.”

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment