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Annie Dillard


Washington Post Book World –cover article

Living in the Virginia mountains in a 12’ x 16’ wood cabin (“when I first moved in it seemed so large I wondered, ‘what am I going to do with all this space?’”), Annie Dillard granted an exclusive in-depth phone interview about her new novel, “The Maytrees,” concerning a trio of lovers who live bohemian lives on the dunes at the end of Cape Cod.  She munched on cherry slices (“glorified gum drops to which I’m addicted”) while Carolina Wrens chirped in the more

Billy Collins


Billy Collins Gleefully Needles Opaque Poets

Is Billy Collins, who recently spoke at the 92nd Street Y, a serious poet who also happens to be funny, or a funny one who happens to be serious? Edward Hirsch may have put it best a few years back: “Billy Collins is an American original—a metaphysical poet with a funny bone and a sly questioning intelligence.” It’s why his poetry has a reputation for being more “hospitable” than most. Yet the humor is never gratuitous—it deepens a shared loneliness at the heart of his work. We come away choking back tears at the more

Interview with Norman Mailer


published in Washington Post Book World, with an extra at end in New York Magazine

For my generation of writers, Norman Mailer is the ultimate father figure.  We have been measuring ourselves against the sweep of his brilliance – for it must be conceded that even his lesser books have the sweep of brilliance – our whole adult lives.  He is the giant who dared giant leaps and, sometimes, giant pratfalls. Thus my drive to his brick house on the very end of Cape Cod in Provincetown, Mass. had the excitement and dread of a pilgrimage.  Beside me on the passenger seat, the author photo on his latest novel, “The Castle in the Forest,” drilled into me with a father’s intensity – equally admonishing and more

Frank McCourt


published in New York Magazine


Frank McCourt is a charmer, so it’s a shock to learn what a nasty case of social discomfort he suffered as a young man. But his third memoir, Teacher Man, reveals the painful extent of his alienation—and the solace he found teaching for 30 years (12,000 students!) in the public schools of New York. Along the way, he polished his narrative skills, as well as what could be one of the best pickup lines of all time, which he discloses here to Daniel Asa Rose of New more

Yoram Kaniuk


a visit to his home in Tel Aviv 


 “1948” is an astounding document, brilliant and scandalous and brave without trying to be brave.  It is the story of how the Israeli writer-painter Yoram Kaniuk volunteered to put himself in the thick of battle after battle in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence: weeping for the fellow soldiers he was shooting with, weeping for the enemy soldiers he was shooting at, rejoicing at life, grieving at life, getting seriously wounded, volunteering yet again, and in the meantime lusting, shyly, for just about every woman who crossed his more

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