Author Archives: Robert Birnbaum

Francisco Goldman

Francisco Goldman

“I completely agree with Henry James that the historical novel is humbug. But that’s because Henry James was referring to the historical novel where people believed you could have a realist historical novel.”

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

Don Lee on Country of Origin

Don Lee

“In these days of publishing, if you don’t review it, it’s not going to sell. The absence of a review is just as loud as giving a negative review.”

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

Jonathan Ames

Jonathan Ames

“I don’t seem to be a big theory person because maybe I have too much self-doubt, and so I change my mind a lot, or I don’t feel very certain about things.”

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged , , | 1 Response

Kent Haruf

Kent Haruf

“There is nothing in these books that I am trying to write that is cynical or satiric or ironic. I am not interested in that. There is a place for that. But in my view that is a kind of easy out.”

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

August 26, 2004: Four More Years

Four years is the time we set aside for high school, undergraduate degrees and presidential terms. It happens also to be the length of time that Identitytheory dot com has been broadbanding across the Internet firmament. This anniversary probably requires some (few) words to mark it and its progress, if not for its readers, certainly […]

Posted in a reader's progress |1 Response

Andrei Codrescu

Andrei Codrescu

“Almost everything [in America] contains its own satire—it’s satirical in itself. So it’s hard to get to what it is about it that is actually funny, or at least smirkable.”

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

Alice Randall

Alice Randall

“It is young white men who heard Bob Dylan’s songs who went back and tried to get black people off Death Row.”

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

Barbara Wallraff

Barbara Wallraff

“I do think an awful lot of people have seized hold of some little thing they were taught in 7th grade and have just held on to and held on to it, despite an astonishing amount of evidence to the contrary.”

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

Dagoberto Gilb

Writer Dagoberto Gilb

“At least when I got this [NBCC] nomination, I didn’t do anything. I got it not because I knew how to play the system, but the system worked in the way I want everything to work.”

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

Jim Shepard

Jim Shepard

“Part of it is a sense of moving into a realm of description that invites one to confront the limitations of one’s own vocabulary.”

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

Todd Balf

Todd Balf

“These figures, like Isaac Strain, explorers—I think they mean more to our generation, somehow, because we have lost a bit of our risk-taking personality.”

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

Stephen Elliott

Stephen Elliott

“Any review is a good review. What’s really painful is to have three books out and not get reviewed in the New York Times. So I have no sympathy for someone who gets a bad review in the Times.”

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged , , | 2 Responses

April 7, 2004: “It is best not to disclaim any low motives…”

It is best not to disclaim any low motives for one’s criticism and embitterment with the forces of ignorance and unbridled commerce, and I must leave it to others to discover the base reasons for my dismay and with the e-mob that lays claim to the portals of the brave new world. I have already […]

Posted in a reader's progress | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Vyvyane Loh

Vyvyane Loh

“I did get that training, and I did take up a spot in medical school, and I feel ethically that I can’t abandon it. I have the training; I should use it.”

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

12 Reasons for the Death of Small and Independent Bookstores

To sink to the old good news/bad news routine, Avenue Victor Hugo Bookstore is closing its doors after 29 years. Vince McCaffrey lays out his view of the objective conditions that led to this final closing: Twelve reasons for the death of small and independent bookstores Ever thankful to those who made the effort before […]

Posted in a reader's progress | Tagged , , , | 1 Response