Ann Patchett figures nobody’s read her 1994 novel, Taft.
John Jeter, author of The Plunder Room, explains why breaking into publishing is a little like his day job of running a music club.
Don’t start an interview with Tobias Wolff by asking about writing process.
Identity Theory’s James Warner avoids a similar kerfuffle in his interview with Yiyun Li, by simply asking what questions she prefers to avoid. This, for once, elicits an interesting reply:
I don’t particularly like to be asked about my views of political situations, both current and historical. As a fiction writer, I believe that what needs to be said about any political situation can not be separated from my fiction, and I feel that I have said enough in my work.
(Though if you write a novel set during late stages of the Cultural Revolution—and The Vagrants is a great book—it’s hard to be surprised that somebody might ask for your thoughts on China today.)
Vladimir Nabokov once wrote down some impressions on the critics who contributed to an issue of TriQuarterly commemorating his 70th birthday—with high praise for scholar Alfred Appel Jr., who died last Sunday. (via Sam Jones)
Independent bookstores around the country are being decimated. Except the ones in Martha’s Vineyard.