Reasons to Believe: New Voices in American Fiction

Michael Shumacher, Author, Michael Schumacher, Author St. Martin's Press $8.95 (269p) ISBN 978-0-312-01811-5
Freelance journalist Schumacher here gathers interviews with America's trendiest literati, recording 18 ``conversations'' with authors, editors and publishers. Seymour Lawrence, Gordon Lish, Jay McInerney et al. share their insights and concerns about writing and press coverage. Most valuable are the words of the late Raymond Carver, the ``literary godfather'' of many young aspirants, according to Schumacher. ``When you're writing,'' Carver says, ``it really comes down to this: indifference to everything except what you're doing . . . the ability to work like a locomotive and an iron will.'' Bret Easton Ellis explains his partying protagonists: ``These people aren't supposed to be likable . . . . There are a lot more interesting things going on in a novel than if you love a character . . . the way a narrative unfolds or doesn't unfold.'' Tama Janowitz is ``thrilled'' by the media exposure her books have received, while David Leavitt admits that he fled New York's ``draining'' literary scene. Although these discussions may strike a sympathetic chord among practitioners of the craft, they are generally cursory, superficial and too infrequently original. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
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