What Wakes Us Up

At 5:45 today, I woke from a nightmare that 100,000 Iraqis, fleeing our bombs, had been herded into an Iranian refugee camp, and they all needed to pee. There wasn’t room for them all in the camp, but those who ……
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Have you finished The Goldfinch?

“Have you read the Goldfinch?” This Vanity Fair article suggests it’s the cocktail party opener of the summer. I’m pleased to report that hasn’t been my observation in Canada, where I have spent the summer, but true enough in my ……
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Questions, Questions

Here is my stop in an author blog tour, a self-interview equivalent of a chain letter, except nice. I was tossed this opportunity by Devyani Saltzman, a writer and literary programmer who I first met when she brought me to ……
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Reader Response

Another very kind letter from a reader, republished with his permission. I wanted to post it here not only because of his very kind praise but because it includes a personal recollection of the era of the bombing, the perspective ……
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A reader sends a line

Rajiv Kalsi, whose sister was on the Air India flight whose bombing seeds my novel, wrote me a letter, reprinted here with his permission. Mr. Kalsi’s email was enormously moving to me. Novelists cannot know, and must renounce a desire ……
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Do Writers Have to be People, too?

Adam Gopnik has a very entertaining and thoughtful article in last week’s New Yorker summarizing the detection efforts of two teams of antiquarians: one that believes it has a reference book that once belonged to Shakespeare, and another that has ……
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How to Irritate Joyce Carol Oates

Yesterday, I conducted a public conversation with Joyce Carol Oates. I opened with some questions of my own, and then she fielded questions from the graduate student audience. One asked what advice JCO gives students in representing violence in fiction. ……
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Amitav Ghosh wrote back

I’m a longtime truehearted fan of Amitav Ghosh, a writer of enormous intellectual breadth and literary ambition. I wrote to him recently to let him know that my new novel owes a debt to an article he wrote for the ……
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First Fan Mail.

In a week when I’m grateful for having had a great deal of media coverage, the item that has most touched me is my first note from a reader, Mr. R. K. Moorthy, who agreed to let me post his ……
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The Novelist Waking…

Readers’ responses to the 4th of my National Post Afterword pieces, The Novelist Wakes, has moved me to say something about its genesis. As I said in my last post, I struggled with these pieces. Toughest was coming up with ……
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