Sunday, September 27, 2015

Phil's Lists, Part 1: Author Interviews

Lists are such an important part of our culture. We make lists not only for our off-day chores and travel bags, but for information we need to know and goals we want to achieve. For this reason, I begin this 20-part series on lists that matter to me as a writer and teacher. They might also matter to you if you read WORD ON THE LINE in your continued development as a writer. In these lists, I mention sources for your review, but hyperlinks occasionally become obsolete, and you might find even better sources than these I recommend. So happy researching.

I begin the series with instructive and inspirational interviews of five established authors.

  • I like the way James Baldwin stands up to William F. Buckley in  this famous 1965 political debate. I share it not so much to draw attention to Baldwin's literary powers but to shed light on the author's ethical obligation.
  • Harold Bloom, the legendary critic, holds court in a humorous, insightful interview about reading and literature at the ripe age of 81.
  • Novelist and essayist Joan Didion speaks about her two most recent nonfiction books and her approach to writing.
  • Game-changing British playwright and Nobel laureate Harold Pinter talks about his writing process in the first half of his Nobel lecture; you can skip the back half if you don't like his politics.
  • Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and actor, talks about a broad range of topics, including how we invent myths of ourselves.