cover image Writers at Work 09: 2the Paris Review Interviews Ninth Series

Writers at Work 09: 2the Paris Review Interviews Ninth Series

. Penguin Books, $14 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-14-016684-2

The venerable Paris Review series remains insightful and delightful, and these 12 interviews, as novelist Styron suggests in his introduction, offer ``an extraordinary variety and range.'' Wallace Stegner calls his path to writing ``pure, brute accident'' and suggests that writers can best prepare by ``knowing something substantive.'' Maya Angelou reveals that she reads the Bible for ``melody'' as well as ``content'' and ruminates on how hard it is for people to grow up. Tom Wolfe and William Kennedy both find value and frustration in their early careers as newspaper reporters. Mario Vargas Llosa and Octavio Paz reflect on the particular obligations their Latin American heritages present. This volume includes two departures: a portrait--not a Q&A--of ``the great master of grief and disenchantment'' Samuel Beckett, who turns out to be ``so expansive, so relaxed in company''; and the initial interview in the ``Art of Criticism'' series, in which Harold Bloom appears supremely confident, dispensing opinions on various authors (he calls Saul Bellow ``an immensely wasted talent'') and critics, and showing enthusiasm for television evangelists and MTV. Photos not seen by PW. (July)