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The Paris Review Interviews I by The Paris…
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The Paris Review Interviews I (2006)

by The Paris Review, Philip Gourevitch (Editor)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
As a writer and an avid reader I love most interviews with authors, but "The Paris Review" interviews are particularly wonderful! The questions are thoughtful, the answers revealing, the interviewers take their time and aren't afraid to stray from the point and explore tangents. This collection includes interviews with some of my favorite authors, I pick it up and refer to it often, include portions of it in my materials for the Classics class I teach, and share quotes indiscriminately with anyone who will listen! ( )
1 vote bkwurm | May 17, 2011 |
This is an outstanding collection of interviews from some of the "great" authors of our time(s). I usually do not get into short pieces like this, but I read almost this entire book on a flight from Paris to Chicago. I was riveted and could not put it down. Each interview is a tiny story, microcosm, of a life in writing. As an aspiring writer, I found some useful, some just purely entertaining, but each one made me think in some small way. I resonated more with the fiction/non fiction authors vs. screenwriters/poets (although many were crossovers of course). My ultimate conclusion is really, each writer has a style all her/his own (often unable to quantify exactly what it is/was), but that being said, it was fascinating to see some of what made, e.g., Capote, Hemingway visionaries. Interestingly, neither one could really explain that well - they just ... wrote. The interviewers ranged from self important to sincere, but all in all, they asked probative and interesting questions. I highly recommend this for anyone interested in the writing life, process, etc. Specifically, if you have an author you love, find that interview to read. I will definitely check out the subsequent volumes. ( )
  CarolynSchroeder | Oct 28, 2010 |
Bathroom reading. ( )
  dickflex | Aug 24, 2010 |
Full disclosure: I didn't want to read this book. I'd requested it from the library on a whim after hearing Philip Gourevitch on Nancy Pearl's "Book Lust" podcast talking about his work selecting the "best of" author interviews from The Paris Review for this collection series. The book came in along with a bunch of other interlibrary loans, and as the due date approached, I picked it up. I hadn't read many of the featured authors, and those that I had were not really to my taste. So I started reading it with the plan that after the requisite 50 pages, I would be able to return it to the library and thus whittle down my stack.

Then I read the first interview, featuring Dorothy Parker. She was a hoot! I've never read any of her stories, but after so enjoying her sense of humor, I was ready to check out her complete short story collection from my library. Still not entirely convinced to keep reading, I approached the next interviews with some trepidation: Truman Capote and Ernest Hemingway. Both men had such intriguing things to say about their writing. Alright, so I probably won't read any Hemingway besides The Old Man and the Sea which I read for school, but it was awfully encouraging to see him poking a little bit of fun at the folks who saw a symbol in everything. Now in the full thrall of these interviews, I started taking my time, reading two or three interviews a day, spacing it out so I didn't get my authors confused or crowd out a particularly satisfying one with the next.

Two in particular stand out to me: those featuring Kurt Vonnegut and Robert Gottlieb. Vonnegut's impressed me because it helped me to understand his writing a bit more. I read Slaughterhouse-Five last year, and didn't really like it. I could appreciate what he was doing, but had trouble following and making sense of the narrative, and I had the sneaking suspicion that the author was dangling the story in front of me with the taunt "I know something you don't know." As he talked about his experience in World War 2 during this interview, especially the bombing of Dresden, I started to realize that much of this was what he knew from the war and began to wonder if part of the challenge with the form of the story was that he didn't really know how to make sense of it either. Though it didn't change my personal opinion of the book, it gave me a bit more insight into what went into it. The second stand out was the discussion with Robert Gottlieb. Rather than a traditional interview, it was more like the transcript of a documentary in which not only he himself but several of the writers whom he had edited talked about working with him in the editing process. This method gave me a very fleshed out, holistic impression of him as an editor and reader, and I really enjoyed the fresh approach.

So from reluctantly picking it up with the plan of abandoning it, I've transformed in the reading to not wanting to return it to the library. My wishlist has grown by three books, because I'm certain I'll want to read the other compilations in this series as well. ( )
5 vote bell7 | Oct 30, 2009 |
The second of two books I bought as part of the some discount-book retail therapy at the campus bookstore the other day.
  donp | Nov 17, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312361750, Paperback)

 
A Picador Paperback Original
 
How do great writers do it? From James M. Cain's hard-nosed observation that "writing a novel is like working on foreign policy. There are problems to be solved. It's not all inspirational," to Joan Didion's account of how she composes a book--"I constantly retype my own sentences. Every day I go back to page one and just retype what I have. It gets me into a rhythm"--The Paris Review has elicited some of the most revelatory and revealing thoughts from the literary masters of our age. For more than half a century, the magazine has spoken with most of our leading novelists, poets, and playwrights, and the interviews themselves have come to be recognized as classic works of literature, an essential and definitive record of the writing life. They have won the coveted George Polk Award and have been a contender for the Pulitzer Prize. Now, Paris Review editor Philip Gourevitch introduces an entirely original selection of sixteen of the most celebrated interviews. Often startling, always engaging, these encounters contain an immense scope of intelligence, personality, experience, and wit from the likes of Elizabeth Bishop, Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, Rebecca West, and Billy Wilder. This is an indispensable book for all writers and readers.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:31 -0400)

How do great writers do it? From James M. Cain's hard-nosed observation that 'writing a novel is like working on foreign policy. There are problems to be solved. It's not all inspirationa- l,' to Joan Didion's account of how she composes a book-'I constantly retype my own sentences. Every day I go back to page one and just retype what I have. It gets me into a rhythm'-The Paris Review has elicited some of the most revelatory and revealing thoughts from the literary masters of our age. For more than half a century, the magazine has spoken with most of our leading novelists, poets, and playwrights, and the interviews themselves have come to be recognized as classic works of literature, an essential and definitive record of the writing life. They have won the coveted George Polk Award and have been a contender for the Pulitzer Prize. Now, Paris Review editor Philip Gourevitch introduces an entirely original selection of sixteen of the most celebrated interviews. Often startling, always engaging, these encounters contain an immense scope of intelligence, personality, experience, and wit from the likes of Elizabeth Bishop, Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, Rebecca West, and Billy Wilder. This is an indispensable book for all writers and readers.… (more)

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