Q&A: Margaret Atwood

From The Guardian:

Margaret Atwood, 71, was born in Ottawa and lives in Toronto. She has written more than 50 volumes, but is best known for her novels, including The Handmaid’s Tale and Booker prizewinner The Blind Assassin; her most recent is The Year Of The Flood. A campaigner for the environment, she has contributed to the Ghosts Of Gone Birds exhibition at the Rochelle School, east London, from 2-23 November.

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Novelist Bret Easton Ellis Speaks

The author of American Psycho blasts the New York literary scene…from the New York Daily News:

Among the many gems large and small to be found in the 200th issue of the Paris Review, one that stands out is an interview with novelist Bret Easton Ellis conducted by “Man in the Gray Flannel Skirt” author Jon-Jon Goulian. (Photo: Ian Gittler)

In that interview, Ellis speaks openly about his complicated relationship with the New York publishing establishment, which made him a star of the book world with 1985’s “Less Than Zero,” published when Ellis was barely old enough to legally buy a beer.

Read some choice excerpts at the link.



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Elmore Leonard and “Raylan”

From CNN, Elmore Leonard returns with his latest in crime fiction, “Raylan.”

Elmore Leonard is something of a living legend among lovers of crime fiction. A favorite of millions of readers, a hero to scores of writers, he’s been called “America’s greatest crime writer.” The 86-year old author has been writing bestselling books for sixty years, mostly Westerns and crime novels. Many of them have been turned into hit movies, including “3:10 to Yuma,” “Get Shorty” and “Out of Sight.”

Now, Leonard returns to one of his favorite characters in his newest book, his 45th novel to be exact, titled simply, “Raylan.” That would be U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. The laid back, Stetson-wearing lawman first appeared in Leonard’s novels, “Pronto” and “Riding the Rap” and again in the 2001 short story, “Fire in the Hole” which became the basis for the hit TV show, “Justified,” starring Timothy Olyphant as the title character. The actor and the show are winning over fans, critics and Leonard himself. So much so that Leonard has returned to writing about “Raylan.”

The book just hit store shelves the same week the show had its third season premiere. Leonard, gracious and unassuming, shows no signs of slowing down at this point in his career.

The author spoke to CNN from his home in Michigan. The following is an edited transcript.

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On The Art of Living

From the Browser, FiveBook Interviews:

To learn how to live well we must look to the past, says the author of a new book on the subject. He recommends five books, from Thoreau to Orwell, that inspire us to live more adventurously.

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Five Books About Paris

From The Browser, an interview with David Downie had his recommended books:

The city of romance and art is also, like most big cities, a place of grit and grime. The American writer and long-time Paris resident tells us where to look if we’re to understand the people and past of this most alluring city.


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An Interview with Germaine Greer

An obscure interview from January 2001 by Joan Fitzpatrick from Early Modern Literary Studies 6.3.

Joan Fitzpatrick interviewed Germaine Greer, Professor of English at the University of Warwick, who as well as having set up Stump Cross Books, which makes available work by women writers, is working on an edition of the complete works of the seventeeth-century poet Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea.

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Interview—Author Gretel Ehrlich

The interview is found at Identity Theory:

Writer Gretel Ehrlich’s newest book This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland is a compelling travelogue of her journeys, beginning in 1993, to one of the world’s least-known places. After being struck by lightning (an experience she wrote about in her memoir A Match to the Heart) her journeys to Greenland were efforts to “get above tree line” where the latitude and altitude helped her to deal with her irregular heartbeats.

She describes her book as follows: “This Cold Heaven is a non-fiction narrative about the lives and history of the Inuit people who have lived in Greenland for almost five thousand years. The book is many things: a personal narrative of my time in Greenland, traveling with subsistence Inuit hunters, staying with Danish and Inuit friends in villages and towns, all gathered over a period of seven years. I have lived in Greenland in every season, during the dark time and have traveled on the ice during the bright, all night spring months. Interlaced with my modern narrative are excerpts from Knud Rasmussen’s [the Danish-Inuit explorer and ethnographer] expedition notes written between 1917 and 1924, in the hopes that the reader will come away with an idea of spiritual and material life of the Inuit hunter and villager before modernization.”

Ehrlich is a world traveler who lives in both California and Wyoming. She writes, fiction, nonfiction and poetry and essays and her writing has appeared in The New York TimesNational GeographicHarpersThe AtlanticTimeLifeArchitectural DigestAudubonTricycle and Outside Magazine, among other publications. In 2000 her National Geographic Adventure article on the Inuit of Greenland was nominated for a Feature Writing Award by the National Magazine Awards. Her books include The Solace of Open SpacesHeart MountainIslands, The Universe, HomeA Match to The HeartQuestions of Heaven: The Chinese Journeys of an American BuddhistA Blizzard Year: Timmy’s Almanac of the Seasons, and John Muir: Nature’s Visionary. Gretel Ehrlich was born in California and studied at Bennington College and UCLA film school. She was a filmmaker until 1978. She now divides her time between Wyoming and California.


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Creative Journalism—George Plimpton Interview with Truman Capote

From Longform.org:

In January 1966–the same month In Cold Blood was first published–Truman Capote sat down with George Plimpton to discuss the new art form he liked to call “creative journalism.”


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Elmore Leonard Interview, Part 3

From Crimeculture, via The Official Elmore Leonard Website:

Charles Rzepka, is working on a study of Elmore Leonard provisionally entitled Being Cool.  This is the third installment from an interview conducted in 2010.

Read the previous two installments, here and here.


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What is the trait you most deplore in others?

I thought Mark E. Smith‘s answer, found at this isn’t happiness, offered an acerbic yet succinct response:

A lot of people seem obliged to have a viewpoint.

And an insatiable need to share it.

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