Tag Archives: Robert Birnbaum

Susan Orlean on Rin Tin Tin

Susan Orlean

“Working on a book requires feeling a great deal of connection to the subject somehow.”

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George Saunders

George Saunders

“It’s amazing how the pleasures of the language and the pleasures of the physical world are one and the same thing.”

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Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez

“There is shit everywhere. The language itself gets muddled and used dishonestly. For me the way to clean the windshield is through writing, which goes hand in hand with reading.”

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William Wright

William Wright

“Yeah, it was a tempest — a hidden tempest. But it ruined a lot of lives and precipitated three suicides.”

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Thomas Beller

Thomas Beller

“The whole culture of coaching and prepping and that sort of intense PR stuff, how to talk on TV and the radio, is disgusting as it applies to a real person, to writers.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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