Books: The Novelist Sounds Off

On "important" fiction. People ask me, "When are you going to write something serious?" A question like that always hurts. They don't understand it's like walking up to somebody and saying how does it feel to be a nigger? My answer is that I'm as serious as I can be every time I sit down at a typewriter.

On childhood. People of my generation, 25 to 40, we were obsessive about our own childhoods for a long time. We went on playing for a long time, almost feverishly. I write for that buried child in us, but I'm writing for the...

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