Archive

Interviews

  On September 4 I moderated a reading with one of the writers I admire and love most, Margaret Atwood, for the John Adams Institute in De Duif in Amsterdam. There’s no recording of our conversation, but she read one of my favorite parts of MaddAddam, the story of Zeb and the bear, and you […]

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For someone who can be so fierce in her fiction, Toni Morrison is remarkably easy to talk to. A conversation on the phone with her, at the house on the Hudson River where she’s lived for years, is warm, fun even—if you’re allowed to say that about a Nobel Prize-winning author. She tells stories. She heaps praise…

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Customers are lined up down the stairs and out the door of the American Book Center on the Spui in Amsterdam. A few of them are holding well-worn LPs. But most of them—especially the kids in their twenties—are carrying copies of “Just Kids,” the wildly successful, award-winning memoir by the punk singer Patti Smith. On […]

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To the novelist A.S. Byatt, studying history is partly a way of understanding her own time. “In many ways if you write a novel about the past,” she has said, “you find yourself saying more about the habits of mind of the present than if you take the present head on.” In novels such as […]

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The photograph on the cover of Toni Morrison’s new book A Mercy shows a stern intellectual: the Nobel Prize winner, the author of novels that have changed the way America sees itself. In her work, too, she has been implacable in her determination to expose America’s forgotten past. A brilliant stroke of timing: A Mercy came out in the euphoric week of America’s presidential election…

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