|—||William Gibson, author of Neuromancer and Apr. 19 LIVE guest, discusses his writing process and the role of science fiction in society with io9.com.|
|—||Paul Auster, in conversation with Paul Holdengräber at LIVE this past October. They discussed his evocative memoir, Winter Journal, and the fragments of his life that still pervade his thoughts. Full program here.|
“By the time I was writing The Cider House Rules, I thought, well you seem to work best when you begin with the last sentence. And once I know, like with a piece of music, what it sounds like at the end, where I’m going, I make a kind of road map in reverse back to where I think the story should begin, and so far that last sentence has never changed. Never. I see that ending and I write toward it. It’s kind of waiting for me.”
A short, beautifully shot documentary looking into John Irving’s life at home from Time LightBox. We move from outside his home, to his kitchen, to his exercise room where we get a glimpse into his wrestling past, to his desk where he admits, he may die some day writing, mid-sentence.
Come listen to Irving speak at length about his writing life and most recent work on Tuesday, January 29 at the NYPL. More information and tickets available here…
“I guess the earliest sign was how much I liked being alone, how much I actually needed to be alone, the way you need, or I need, exercise or food or a certain amount of sleep. There was that desire to be, and a comfort, at being alone.”
—John Irving on his earliest inklings of knowing he was a writer from Big Think.
Tickets still available to see John Irving LIVE from the NYPL on January 29! More information and tickets here…
“Aspire always for greatness, but surrender to mediocrity.”
— Cheryl Strayed shares some worthwhile advice on removing the ego from the writing process.
If you want to glean more wisdom from Cheryl, come see her talk about her memoir, Wild, and her “Dear Sugar” advice column at LIVE from the NYPL on October 2!
“I felt that I wanted to write about this question of what is passed down, and I felt quite comfortable doing it by writing about, for example, a woman who chooses, who has experienced so much trauma, I’m talking about Lotte now, who is a German Jewish refugee who becomes pregnant and simply cannot—does not feel she can have the child, because she feels that she will infect this child with this tremendous sadness and makes this quite radical decision to pass this child to another and I felt that I could write about it by writing about Aaron, this Israeli father who is at the end of his life facing his death and who has still not given up hope that he can be understood by his son, that he can understand his son, and who is dealing with the moral doubt of what it is to wonder whether one’s been a good parent. I felt that I could be that and I felt I could examine this idea that I was looking at from the beginning of a child’s life from the other side of it, and I think this way of somehow touching one’s material, touching the red-hot thing by coming at it from the other side is, for me, still a kind of thrilling way to do it.
It’s like if I were to write about a family now it would be a little like writing about a birthday where only good things happen and the child comes and everyone sings to him and he gets presents and everyone leaves. Well, it’s not a story, ultimately. A story happens when everyone comes and, with bated breath, the uncles and aunts hold their breath, and the child, you know, pushes the birthday cake off the table and leaves the room. It’s in that moment of darkness, the moment of difficulty and struggle, that we find something out about ourselves.”
—Nicole Krauss in conversation with David Grossman, October 13, 2010
Watch/listen to the whole event here…
Three years ago today, we held a program titled, “New Arab Eyes on the World: Breaking Down Barriers of Fear and Prejudice” with Peter Theroux, Raja Alem, Tom McDonough, Muhammed Al Mur, Joe Sacco, and Sulaiman Al Hattlan.
“I’m a cartoonist, so my work is done with drawings and prose put together. And at some point I felt compelled to go to the Middle East and compelled to write about the Palestinian issue. I mean, it’s something I had to do. Initially, what I decided when I was thinking about the Middle East and the Palestinians I was thinking, ‘how am I going to approach this subject?’ And one of the first things I did was read human rights reports. There’s an organization called Al-Haq, and I read these things and I thought, what I’ll do is illustrate these testimonies of what life was like under the occupation. And on further really examining it, I thought, ‘this testimony, which is really courtroom quality, would be really dry for the average person. Not just dry, but sort of overwhelm them with horror.’ And I thought, ‘this isn’t the way to go about this,’ and I decided I’d go myself and spend time with the Palestinians and not approach them as Victim with a capital V. That was always a worry, that even when you read about these things, you’re obviously impressed by how people are suffering and all this, but there’s more to life, even under suffering.”
Watch/listen to the program here…