Least enthusiastic author
“Q: How much time, if any, do you spend on the web? Is it a distraction or a blessing?
Jenny Diski : Acres of time, wasted, wasted. I play poker (and lose), I play ludo and mah jong. I check out MetaFilter. I buy frocks. Anything. It’s a kind of hell. I sometimes think I might go back to typewriting. But you can’t get the ribbons.”
Insightful interview of the year
“Q: What drew you to the story?
Denis Johnson : I have no idea.
Q: When you were writing Tree of Smoke, did you have an audience or ideal reader in mind? If so, who?
DJ: I write for my wife, my agent and my editor.
Q: Were there moments in the writing process where you worried the book wouldn’t work? If so, how did you press on?
DJ: Well, I’ve never thought about this before, but now that you ask it occurs to me I don’t have much interest in whether my books work or not.”
Interview with Denis Johnson by America’s National Book Foundation, when Tree of Smoke was a finalist for their awards
Excessive information award
Norman Mailer to Philip Roth, in queue for the loo before a memorial service: “Phil, sometimes I have to go into a telephone kiosk to pee. You just can’t wait at my age.”
Roth: “I know, it’s the same with me.”
Exchange recalled by Mailer in conversation with Andrew O’Hagan
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Author Quotes of the Year
The Times picks up some of the best author quotes of the year. My favourites: