A mere mortal tries to walk among the gods, or anyway, a
talented young athlete's life and family gets tangled with the life and family of
a world-famous ballerina who lives in the mansion across the way, watch out.
In ten words.
""¦ a thrilling indulgence, a tale of opulence, love
triangles, and madness." Oh, sorry"”that
was Publisher's Weekly.
Two families get entangled, one rich, one poor, and fate steps
Revenge takes time.What's on your
It's a big stack. Here's the actual order, bottom to top, some already read, some cracked,
some long-term projects, some awaiting insomnia: Bring up the Bodies, by Hillary Mantel; Canada by Richard Ford; Wild,
by Cheryl Strayed; Waging Heavy Peace,
Neil Young; When I was a Child I Read
Books, by Marilynne Robinson; Lives
of Girls and Women, Alice Munro; Telegraph
Avenue, Michael Chabon; To Dance,
Siena Cherson Siegel (borrowed from my daughter, who's
twelve); Blake Bailey's Cheever (on
the occasion of Cheever's 100th birthday); Lost Memory of Skin, Russell Banks; Legs Get Led Astray, by Chloe Caldwell.
Three to five favorite
books of all time.
So many! But, let's
say Paradise Lost, by John Milton,
though I have a sense of the plot: Adam and Eve eat an apple and things go to Hell.
Zen Mind, Beginner's
Mind, Shunryu Suzuki. Simple and
pure thinking, often mysterious, even confusing, that (back in the day) somehow
let me settle down and just write.
want to become a writer.
As I Lay Dying,
William Faulkner. The multiple narrators
made me see for the first time how it was done, and how I might do it,
too. Turned out it was harder than it
looked. By far.
A really funny conversation on the main drag in Vineyard
Haven, Martha's Vineyard, with an older guy who invited my whole gang back to
his gorgeous house for drinks when we discovered it was a dry town. His name was Bill like mine and we partied
late into the night as his friends stopped by, story after story. I didn't get
wise till a few days later, when I noticed the author photo on the book I'd
been reading: Sophie's Choice.
What talent or superpower
would you like to have (not including flight or invisibility)?
Making old cars and houses and various machines like new with a wave of
What are you obsessed with
The movies. The art theater's an
hour from here and I'll go and watch three or four films in a row, a whole afternoon and evening, analyze every
second, every aspect, every nuance, story first.
Getting this place ready for winter before my book tour. I live in western Maine and it snows a lot
here. I wave my hand and nothing
What are you psyched
A gorgeous old pair of pear bookends carved in walnut that were my
Cheryl StrayedWhat's next for you?
A new novel, about strangers trapped in a cabin by a
I got onstage for a reading without pants but kept going,
gales of derisive laughter. I wonder
what that's all about?
First line of Joseph Heller's Something Happened: "I get the willies when I see closed doors." Or my dead mother's frequent line when hearing
of unexpected meetings: "Small, smelly world."
Cooking. Gardening. Reading. Nap.Temptation?
Great WhiskeyWhat do you collect?
Seashells, smooth rocks, books, kind people.
Best piece of fan mail
you ever got?
Mother of a friend telling me she read my essay
about him every year on the anniversary of his death and found him alive again,
perfectly alive, effusive thanks, tear-stained page.