The five red herrings

Nobody asked me, but the five-book meme has been bopping around for a week or so since Absurdist Paradise released it into the blogosphere, and I’m tagging myself.  Five books that I came to love this year, and just for the heck of it, snippets of the authors’ reflections on the books and the writing of them:

  1. Lionel Shriver, The Post-Birthday World.  From a BookPage interview with the authorShriver suggests that there exist many kinds of love, one not better than another. “We use this very broad term, but the truth is that the feelings that you have for individual people are like tiny one-of-a-kind works of art,” she muses.
  2. Sigrid Nunez, The Last of Her Kind.  From an interview with Jess DeCourcy at Small Spiral Notebook: “I think whenever you’re writing a novel you’re existing in two different realities. Which reminds me of something Margaret Atwood said: When you’re writing you’re not living, and when you’re living you’re not writing, and there is always that tension.”
  3. Colm Tóibín, The Master.  From the Powells.com interview: “The novel space is a pure space. I’m nobody once I go into that room. I’m not gay, I’m not bald, I’m not Irish. I’m not anybody. I’m nobody. I’m the guy telling the story, and the only person that matters is the person reading that story, the target. It’s to get that person to feel what I’m trying to dramatize.”
  4. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Via Accio Quote! (isn’t that a great name?), from a Today Show interview with Meredith Vieira.  “I’m very proud of the fact that as we went into this book many, many readers believed that it was a real possibility that Harry would die. Proud, not because that means that I’ve got people in tenterhooks, proud because it means that the books are imbued with a sense of genuine mortality. It was felt to be a possibility that the hero would die. And that’s what I was aiming for, that you really felt that anyone was up for grabs.  And because that’s how– how it would be, you know?  If you’ve got a character like that who’s determined to kill– Voldemort I’m talking about, of course, not Harry– then that’s how it would be.  No one– no one’s safe.  It could come to anyone.”
  5. David Michaelis, Schulz and Peanuts.  From a New York Times article about the Schulz children’s displeasure with the book: “He was a complicated artist who had an inner life and embedded that inner life on the page,” Mr. Michaelis said in an interview. “His anxieties and fears brought him Lucy and the characters in ‘Peanuts.’ A normal person couldn’t have done it,” he said.
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