Tag Archives: Robert Birnbaum

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.”

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Janet Desaulniers

Author of What You’ve Been Missing talks with Alex Shapiro

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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