How do you get up in the morning?
I’m a big fan of PG Tips.
Do you succumb to nostalgia?
Once when I was in Paris I tried to find a famous bookstore on the Left Bank, searched for it online, and came across a news story (in French) saying it had closed, and now the Left Bank was only a “place of memory.” The world is full of places of memory to me.
Do you write long and cut, or short and backfill?
How do you feel about your Wikipedia entry?
I just hope it’s accurate and often updated.
Lunch with any three people who ever lived; who do you invite?
Three Zen masters: Zhaozhou, Dogen, and Ko Bong. (Sorry. I know this is an annoying answer few people will understand. But it’s just true.)
Best piece of advice you ever received?
From my first writing teacher, Lee K. Abbott: “Go to college, get the best education you possibly can, then worry about writing later.”
Disciplined or hot dog?
Have you ever been defeated by a genre?
I feel defeated by the idea of genre.
Which classic author would you like to see kicked out of the pantheon?
Not an author but a book: The Catcher in the Rye. We’d all be better off if it were never taught again. Substitute Franny and Zooey if you have to, but let’s see and hear the last of Mr. Caulfield.
Are you okay with blood?
As a parent of two small children, I’m pretty much an expert on bodily fluids and how to clean them up/treat them/get them out of sweaters.
Who is your imagined audience? Does it at all coincide with the real one?
There’s a line from a song by the band Sideshow I really love: “Where did all you shattered people — where’d you come from?”
What country would you want to be exiled in?
What’s your favorite negative emotion?
I try not to play favorites.
Is your study neat, or, like John Muir’s, is your desk and floor c...read more