Insightful interviews with some of today’s most popular and accomplished writers. Steeped in a thorough knowledge of each writer’s work, Johnson asks about a range of topics on the writing craft, nurturing fictional ideas, and the daily practice of writing. The authors offer insights and practical advice that will delight their fans and be cherished by aspiring writers. Michael Cunningham recalls how the structure of The Hours evolved as he wrote it. Edwidge Danticat honors the Haitian storytelling tradition she encountered in her childhood. And Jonathan Lethem reflects on working from inside and outside the literary establishment.
Other writers interviewed include Rick Moody; Donna Tartt; Myla Goldberg; Mary Gaitskill; Ha Jin; Bret Anthony Johnston; Edward P. Jones; Chang-rae Lee; Alice Mattison; Nancy Rawles; Marilynne Robinson; le thi diem thuy; and Mary Yukari Waters.
A practical guide to one of the most rewarding forms of literary journalism.
Sarah Anne Johnsons interview’s with authors have been praised for her thoughtful and knowledgeable questions (Bloomsbury Review) that provoke thoughtful responses from her subjects (Publishers Weekly) and provide an opportunity to participate in intimate and often illuminating dialogue (Library Journal). Johnson also travels to MFA programs across the country, teaching workshops in how to conduct an author interview.
This book, based on that workshop, shows readers how to initiate, research, conduct, and publish interviews with authors and other creative people. Drawing on her own experience, Johnson not only covers the nuts and bolts of conducting the interviews, but she also offers an inspirational explanation of how the process can feed and enhance a writers own work and career.
More and more MFA programs now recognize the need to equip their students with the tools for building a writing life; in this book, Johnson provides a practical, inspiring guide to one of the most popular forms of literary journalism. In addition, students of journalism and broadcasting, and even fans, will find its down-to-earth approach to authors and writing liberating.
With examples, exercises, and step-by-step instructions, Johnson covers every step from preparation to publication. Widely praised for her own skillfully conducted interviews, Johnson is the perfect guide to this rewarding activity.
Interviews on the craft of writing and the writing life with some of the foremost contemporary American women fiction writers.
Sena Jeter Naslund describes the origins of Ahab’s Wife in “a vision and a voice.” Ann Patchett mourns the ways in which the reality of a novel may fail to live up to her conception of it. Andrea Barrett, a winner of the National Book Award and the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, nevertheless characterizes herself as “a very clumsy writer” in her early drafts.
The seventeen women interviewed by Sarah Anne Johnson are some of the most popular and accomplished writers at work today—award winners, critically acclaimed, popular with book clubs. Steeped in a thorough knowledge of each writer’s work, Johnson’s questions range from technical issues of craft to the nurturing of fictional ideas to the daily practice of writing. The authors offer insights into their own works that will delight their fans and also provide practical advice that will be cherished by aspiring writers. From Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s reflections on her experience of immigration to Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s insights on the question of a character’s voice, these interviews combine the personal with the professional experience of the writing life.
Writers interviewed: Andrea Barrett, Aimee Bender, Amy Bloom, Elizabeth Cox, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Maria Flook, Lynn Freed, Gish Jen, Nora Okja Keller, Elizabeth McCracken, Jill McCorkle, Sue Miller, Sena Jeter Naslund, Ann Patchett, Jayne Anne Phillips, A.J. Verdelle, Lois-Ann Yamanaka.