books

Bright Lights, Big City

When I told my best friend and future editor Gary Fisketjon what I was doing he said that he hoped I wasn’t trying to write an entire novel in the second person. I was too embarrassed to tell him that that was precisely what I was doing.

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Ransom

Ransom was my second novel, published a year after Bright Lights, but in a sense it was my first. I started working on it in when I went to grad school at Syracuse…

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The Story of My Life

When I started writing it I was dating a girl named Lisa Druck who was about ten years younger than me—she and her friends were all about twenty and they’d all arrived in New York recently; they knew each other from the hunters and jumpers riding circuit.

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Brightness Falls

I remember one day waiting at a light to cross Fifth Avenue and seeing, Ronald Perelman, the billionaire soon-to-be owner of Revlon, waiting on the other side of the street. Standing next to Perelman was a homeless man. And I thought—yeah, that’s New York. And I want to write a novel capacious enough to contain both of those characters, …

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The Last of the Savages

I’d always been fascinated by the South, by Southern literature and Southern characters. In 1991 I married Helen Bransford, one of the more eccentric and fascinating people I’d ever met in my life, …

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Model Behavior

I can’t exactly remember the genesis of Model Behavior, although I would say at this distance that it was an attempt to reclaim the material of my youth and write one more book about an irresponsible post-adolescent

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The Good Life

The Good Life had a long and difficult birth. Starting around 1999 I experienced, for the first time in my life, that affliction known as writer’s block, with which I had very little previous acquaintance.

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How It Ended

Like most novelists, I started out as a short story writer, and I’ve written stories throughout my career. I really love the form as a reader; as a writer I find it challenging, and daunting. Whereas in a novel you have room to fool around, a short story has to be a thoroughly economical and efficient mechanism.

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Bright, Precious Days

Early in 2012 I started to look back at recent New York history and it occurred to me that a new era, a post 9/11 era, started coming into being in 2007 and really began to take shape in the fall of 2008, when the economy almost collapsed, and when, paradoxically a new era of hope seemed to be ushered in with Obama’s election.

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