The reason some crime writers have a chip on their shoulder about the label is because their good books are shelved beside books about nuns and birdwatchers and cats who solve crimes. Overseas, my books are reviewed alongside those of authors like Robert Stone and Don DeLillo, and I have to live and die by that comparison. They don't ghettoize crime writers in other countries, and of course they shouldn't.
Miss Abigail, I want to be an author because writers know when a person is lonely. I mean, when Molly read me some books, those writers reached out and said, Look Gideon, we know about your loneliness and we know you're feeling downtrodden. And they said...I'll stand up for you. You're not lone anymore.
I enjoy working with writers and their scripts. It's very exciting to me. Eventually I would like to produce, direct and act onstage, but it's not a heavy pressure. When I do it, I want to do it well. I'm just educating myself with writers and scripts, because I didn't read a lot of books when I was growing up.
You're all alone when you're a writer. Sometimes you just feel you need a humanity bath. Even a ride on the subway will do that. But it's much more interesting to talk about books. After all, that's what life used to be for writers: they talk books, politics, history, America. Nothing has replaced that.
Compared to men writers of like distinction and years of life, few women writers have had lives of unbroken productivity, or leave behind a 'body of work.' Early beginnings, then silence; or clogged late ones (foreground silences); long periods between books (hidden silences); characterize most of us.
Most book things now (with a few exceptions) are just built around nice, safe books written for nice and safe book club readers. These are usually the books you see on display at Barnes and Noble. These Internet writers are like literary terrorists to me. They're training as we speak. They're getting ready to invade. They're building an army.
The rest, with very little exaggeration, was books. Meant-to-be-picked-up books. Permanently-left-behind books. Uncertain-what-to-do-with books. But books, books. Tall cases lined three walls of the room, filled to and beyond capacity. The overflow had been piled in stacks on the floor. There was little space left for walking, and none whatever for pacing.
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