From the Archives: Christopher Mohar talks with Anthony Doerr about the politics of writing, the importance of curiosity, the role science plays in his fiction, why he likes the novella as a form, and how we can successfully inhabit characters different from ourselves.
From the Archives: Travis Holland talks with fiction master Tobias Wolff about the pleasures and anxieties of influence, the changing societal role of writer-celebrities, and the reasons Wolff has “always been attracted to the incisiveness, velocity, exactitude, precision of the short story.”
“So in the novel I’m driving at the idea that justice and freedom don’t wait. It’s not, well, you need to suffer just a little more and then things are going to be peachy in fifty years. No. That was the rationale for colonialism and you can see the wreckage that left behind.”
“It’s short, but once I hit on it, this little observation seemed to encapsulate everything I’d written before or since: ‘In my writing, I wrestle with questions of gender, power, identity, complicity, and harm. Even so, I still find the world beautiful.'”
“I was feeling quite self-satisfied when I showed [Dean Bakopoulos, friend and novelist] the passage that described Carolyn. I showed it to him because I thought, ‘Oh, he’s going to get a kick out of this; it’s pretty funny.’ And he comes back with, ‘Yes, it is funny, you’re right. But you can’t do this to her. She needs to have some dimension.’ I get those reminders in real life, too.” Mindy Misener chats with Michael Perry about his new novel, The Jesus Cow, and his transition from non-fiction to fiction.