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The Paris Review Interviews, II


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The Paris Review has published early and important work by Philip Roth, V. S. Naipaul, Jeffrey Eugenides, A. S. Byatt, T. C. Boyle, William T. Vollmann, and many other defining writers of the past half century. Some of the magazine's exceptional stories, poems, and conversations have been collected by Picador in The Paris Review Book of People with Problems as well as The Paris Review Book for Planes, Trains, Elevators, and Waiting Rooms and The Paris Review Book of Heartbreak, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal, Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner, Baseball, Travels, the Art of Writing, and Everything Else in the World Since 1953.


Celebrating the 55th anniversary of the Paris Review, this third volume of interviews is introduced by Margaret Atwood with the history of the journal. Among those profiled are Chinua Achebe, John Cheever, Isak Dinesen, Joyce Carol Oates, Salman Rushdie, and William Carlos Williams, who respond to a variety of questions, many directed toward writing habits and how they view their lives. The prolific Oates finds time to pursue domestic tasks along with reading extensively, keeping a formal journal, and writing almost daily. Achebe stresses the importance of storytelling in his early life in Nigeria and how it influences his writing. Martin Amis reveals his habit of driving to an office away from home in order to write and what it was like having a famous writer as a father. Most valuable, though, is the advice given on the craft of writing. Here, amid conversations filled with humor, intrigue, and medical complaints, one can see the creative process up close. Recommended for all large collections.-Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"The Paris Review books should be given out at dinner parties, readings, riots, weddings, galas -- shindigs of every shape. And they're perfect for the classroom too, from high schools all the way to MFA programs. In fact, I run a whole semester-long creative writing class based on the interviews. How else would I get the world's greatest living writers, living and dead, to come into the classroom with their words of wisdom, folly and fury? These books are wonderful, provocative, indispensible." --Colum McCann, novelist and Hunter College professor "The most remarkable and extensive interviewing project we possess." --Richard Eder, The New York Times "A small treasure. The interviews are literary landmarks, and the gossip, humor, ideas, and practical advice dispensed are bracing." --San Francisco Chronicle "Utterly absorbing . . . The interviews are all fascinating and often quite funny." --The Boston Globe "Groundbreaking, eclectic, indispensable Q&As." --Elle "As The Paris Review Interviews reveals, there is an art to the interview and a value to what it brings. . . . In the best interviews, the exchange of question and answer brings the authors to life." --The Wall Street Journal "Fascinating interviews . . . [The subjects] discuss their writing and methods with detail and candidness found nowhere else. While lit fans will undoubtedly be satisfied, aspiring authors will glean tremendous insight from these masters of the craft." --The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) "The unguarded moment . . . that's the holy grail for any interviewer trying to discover what makes a writer tick. The Paris Review has a long history of delivering such moments in the author interviews it has conducted over the past half century." --The Seattle Times "A stimulating, funny, and provocative snapshot of five decades' worth of (mostly) American literary history . . . The resulting conversations are luminous and often revelatory." --Minneapolis Star-Tribune "Fascinating . . . This book will intrigue and delight any serious reader or writer. It may even inspire." --The Times Literary Supplement (London) "Here is a canon of great minds. . . . A fascinating attempt at getting to the heart of how writers work." --Financial Times (London)

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