Articles by Robert Birnbaum

December 23, 2012

A Year in Reading: Robert Birnbaum 0

I am a literary omnivore.

May 17, 2012

Sing You a Book: Josh Ritter Gets Out of His Comfort Zone 6

I think songs are really great, kind of, delivery vehicles for a story. They allow you to make your own conclusions. Good songs never give you everything. So I really believe a song is like an envelope. A novel, you can unfold from a song.

April 4, 2012

Overnight Sensation? Edith Pearlman on Fame and the Importance of Short Fiction 10

People are made by the books they read and I think I am finished. That is to say, my making is finished.

February 17, 2012

Crime Pays: Jo Nesbø Talks about Killing Harry Hole and the Best Job in the World 15

I had worked as a taxi driver, a stockbroker. A fishing trawler. I had many kinds of jobs. And I know this is the greatest job that you can have. To actually get up in the morning and people are paying you to do what you really want to do. To come up with these stories.

November 3, 2011

Robert Birnbaum in Conversation with Anne Enright 1

“You have to sink in order to write a book. I don’t mean in a depressive sort of way. You have to diffuse as much as anything else. Just in those early days — to lose control of it and to be helpless and not know what you are doing. And then the focus comes sentence by sentence.”

October 20, 2011

Robert Birnbaum in Conversation with John Sayles 7

“For a filmmaker to have made 17 movies in 35 years is pretty good. And most of them — we don’t always have enough money to do them justice, but most of them, there was no fighting a rear guard action against a studio to change things or tell you who to cast or whatever, so I have been really lucky.”

September 8, 2011

Robert Birnbaum and Darin Strauss 3

“I wanted to write about the young me as I would write about a character in a novel. And look at all that person’s flaws and hold them up to the light. Because I think that’s what we get out of good fiction, too. Good fiction teaches you how to live.”