Tuesday, July 1, 2008

You sound completely American to me...

... said one of the listeners to an excerpt of The Garden of the Last Days read by its author, Andre Dubus III. So far I agree: the cocky tone, the conviction that he possesses the ultimate writer's knowledge, as well as the way he talks about his book evoke an urge to viciously categorize Dubus. An American or rather a Westerner is what the woman meant. Her question continued, "and I wonder how you manage to get not only into the mind but into the heart of the main character of The House of Sand and Fog.... He seemed more Iranian than anyone I have ever met." That was actually supposed to be a compliment. It turns out that he fell in love with an Iranian girl when he was in college.

The best part from the interview was when Dubus (oh, Dubus III, excuse me) admits that whenever he tries to write something that provides answers, he kills it. Also, he also says, "Hemingway has a great line, I try to live by creatively: the job of the writer is not to judge but to seek to understand."

Chinese line: "If the mad dog comes at you, whistle for him."

NPR Book Tour

Herald Tribune Review

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