Author Interviews

Interviews with literary authors. Subscribe: RSS

Alice Flaherty

“It is very painful for them to think of literature, of writing literature, as this product of this disgusting organ with the consistency of tooth paste.”

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Tibor Fischer

Tobor Fischer

“If I knew exactly everything that was going to happen from page 1 to page 300, I’d never get round to writing it because I would get so bored.”

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Azar Nafisi

Azar Nafisi

“I think if a civilization or a culture does not take its own works of literature seriously it goes downhill. You need imagination in order to imagine a future that doesn’t exist.”

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Edward Jones

Edward Jones

“…all the effort and knowledge that went into writing that first story. You can’t transfer it over to the second story. You are always starting at the bottom again. So it’s—a nasty job. It’s a nasty job.”

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Jennifer Niven

Author Jennifer Niven

“As horrified as we are by disaster, I think we like to imagine what we would do in an avalanche on Mount Everest, a collapsed coal mine, a crashing plane, a sinking ship. Would we be heroic? Would we lose our nerve? Would the best or the worst in us surface? How would we react?”

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Neal Pollack

Neal Pollack

“I hate it when a book opens and there are three pages in italics and then the narrative starts. Just tell me a goddamn story! I don’t need three pages of italics.”

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Chip Kidd #2

Chip Kidd

“A part of what I feel is not great is when authors — or authors and their agents, or agents on behalf of their authors — come to me and they want me to design their books because they think it will solve all their problems for them. And now I can safely say, I designed my own book cover for my novel and it was not a runaway success.”

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Martin Amis

Martin Amis

“I think all writing answers the very human desire—not for immortality but for some extension of your mortal span.”

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Louis Begley

Louis Begley

“I cannot read novels of huge length, with no characters, no intelligible plot, and really no point except a compendium of private jokes and obsessions.”

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David Levien

David Levien

“I’m drawn to sub-cultures that have a code, custom, and language of their own. Whether it is underground poker, organized crime, the porn business, law, or soldiering, I am interested in the rules of these insular worlds, and how they mesh and gnash with the greater outside world.”

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Sheri Fink, M.D.

Sheri Fink

“When the survivors entrusted me with the stories of the worst days of their lives, telling those stories became my responsibility.”

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Saira Shah

Saira Shah

“The West is a very problem-solving culture. And one of the problems of Afghanistan is that it doesn’t lend itself readily to being sorted out on the West’s terms.”

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Janette Turner Hospital

“Blind optimism is what every writer has to have to keep going because the odds are not good…”

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Susannah Breslin

Susannah Breslin

“You know how some people like "feel-good" movies? I like "feel-bad" movies. Same is true for books.”

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Vendela Vida

“You go into a bookstore and there are all these sections on war and countless things that there are books about, and yet we seem to circumscribe literature to just literary fiction.”

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