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Posts from the ‘Author Profiles’ Category

V.S. Naipaul And His Crappy Watch

In 2001, V.S. Naipaul won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

As is customary, Naipaul was asked to give a short, two-minute speech. And as far as stuffy Nobel Prize speeches go, I’d say it’s rather clever. Naipaul talks about his wrist watch breaking while he was traveling to Stockholm for the Nobel event. There’s a fancy metaphor in there, but you’ll have to watch to find out what it is.

I’ve never actually watched a Nobel Ceremony—not even a clip of it. And, well, to be honest—this seems like quite the pretentious event.

Can anyone explain to me why the woman introducing Naipaul looks to be wearing a sailor’s hat? Is she the new Love Boat Captain?

Enjoy the humor and pretentiousness. Read more

Kingsley Amis: My Sex Scenes Are Kinda Lame

Here’s another clip from a great interview The Paris Review conducted with Kingsley Amis.

Amis was asked about a professor who had called his work “pornographic.” Read more

Kingsley Amis On Character Development and Language

This question The Paris Review asked Kingsley Amis reminds me of a discussion we had about Tolkien’s writing style back when I read The Lord of the Rings. Read more

The Praise And Criticism Of William Styron

The Confessions of Nat Turner is just a fascinating novel.

The fact that it’s loosely based on a true story, the fact that a white man had a big enough pair to write this novel, and the fact that he received a ton of backlash for doing so, make this book full of intrigue.

Last week, I mentioned that William Styron, as a white author, attempts to get inside of the head of Nat Turner, an African American slave from the 1830s, a “character” who actually exists.

When the novel was released in 1968, The Confessions received a lot of praise. The novel was a best-seller and won the Pulitzer Prize. Styron was even well received at a historically black college. He told The New York Times: Read more

Here’s A Guy Who Wrote His Own Epitaph

It’s said that John O’Hara wrote the epitaph that appears on his tombstone.

You catch that? He wrote his own epitaph.

“Better than anyone else, he told the truth about his time, the first half of the twentieth century. He was a professional.”

“Better than anyone else.” Who says that about themselves—on our their own tombstone, no less?

John O’Hara…that’s who. Read more

How Dyslexia Helped Richard Ford

It would seem to me that dyslexia would be one of the more difficult disabilities to overcome in becoming a writer.

The International Dyslexia Association defines it as such: It is “a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.”

However, for Richard Ford, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Sportswriter and Independence Day, the disability has been a bump in the road that, he says, has actually improved his writing.

But it wasn’t easy. Ford said he didn’t read for pleasure until he was 20, and the process of learning how to read and write with dyslexia was slow. He told the Washington Post: Read more

Richard Ford On Finding His Writing Voice

I’ve posted a lot of the Paris Review’s Art of Fiction series interview over the last few years. It’s a really interesting look into the personal and professional lives of a lot of the world’s most famous authors.

The Art of Fiction featured Richard Ford in 1996, and of course he had much to say.

I love Ford’s answer to how his writing developed over the years. Read more

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