The Millions Interview

May 25, 2010

The Millions Interview: Tom McAllister 2

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McAllister became known as “the ultimate Philly guy.” No wonder, considering he grew up in a row house, attended La Salle University, teaches at Temple, and even worked in a cheesesteak shop. But a person cannot be so reduced, as he explores in his new memoir.

May 11, 2010

A Novel for You and Me: A Fortunate Age by Joanna Smith Rakoff 12

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Rakoff’s novel poses a central question: what do you hold onto from your idealistic youth, and what do you shed?

May 5, 2010

Reality Squared: A Profile of Deborah Eisenberg 15

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“People do talk about things, of course. They don’t just talk about nail polish. You can go for days thinking all anybody cares about anymore is square footage, and then have three extraordinary conversations in the grocery store.”

April 29, 2010

The Millions Interview: Sonya Chung 1

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“The work is a contained world for me, unto itself, it has its own internal energy and design; and when I sit down to work I’m like the astronaut landing on Planet Novel.”

March 30, 2010

The Millions Interview: Kati Marton 5

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“We had to learn Russian. We had to learn marching songs. In my case, I had to watch the Hungarian Secret Police drag my parents away. So kids grow up really fast in that kind of a system. At age six I already knew what I could say outside our apartment, and what I couldn’t. Sometimes I made mistakes.”

March 25, 2010

The Millions Interview: Jonathan Dee 5

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“Ninety-nine percent of people, and probably a higher percentage of readers, have it in, in general, for characters like this, and feel when they read about people like this, ‘Oh, I know how I feel about them, I know what they’re like.’ So, I was very much interested in making them hard to pass judgment on, at least until the book was shut, and possibly past that.”

March 23, 2010

The Millions Interview: Péter Esterházy 2

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“My father now appears to me like the world: it’s a pretty bad place, but it is very good, it is magical to be alive.”

February 24, 2010

The Millions Interview: John Banville 8

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“I just want to recreate the sense of what life feels like, what it tastes like, what it smells like. That’s what art should do. I feel it should be absolutely gloriously useless.”

February 11, 2010

The Millions Interview: David Shields (Part Two) 5

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“Crucial for me in writing this book was my vexed sense of the way in which great nonfiction is badly boxed in by straightahead memoir, on the one hand, and straightahead fiction, on the other.”

February 10, 2010

The Millions Interview: David Shields (Part One) 18

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“I’m trying to renew the novel form, not end it. A relationship is like a shark; if it doesn’t keep moving, it dies. What we have here is a dead shark. Can we not shock it awake?”