A. Baseball player, Private investigator, Sotheby's auction house expert, Internet entrepreneur, Journalist.
A. Writing books.
A. Kenyon College (Gambier, OH); St. George's School (Newport, RI)
A. Okkervil River
A. The Sting
A. The West Wing
A. Intriguingly atypical and still very much in development.
A. The words on my screensaver: "Sit down and write, you idiot."
A. As a fictional conceit.
A. That my publisher will make me Twitter.
A. I keep thinking about Marfa, Texas, though I've never been.
A. The 1969 Mets.
A. Paul Newman. I know, I know, not applicable, but can you come up with anyone better?
A. Apparently, I start too many sentences with the word "And".
A. Not taking my baseball career more seriously.
A. A stronger throwing arm.
A. My two books.
A. Too many to choose from.
A. A young Leonard Cohen
A. I always wear boots.
A. Henry Gondorff
A. Doyle Lonnegan
A. Martin Luther King. And I'd say thank you.
A. Books, bars, beaches.
A. Being Dan Brown's literary agent.
A. Passion, humor, independence.
A. French charcuterie
A. At the moment: My Only Offer (Mates of State); Better Son/Daughter (Rilo Kiley); Plus Ones (Okkervil River); Wake Up (Julia Darling); Two Steps Forward (Emmy the Great).
A. Martin Amis Saul Bellow Don DeLillo Kiran Desai Junot Diaz Joan Didion Dave Eggers Louise Erdrich F. Scott Fitzgerald Ian Frazier Alan Furst David Gates Adam Gopnik Phillip Gourevitch Amy Hempel A. J. Liebling Ian McEwan Jay McInerney Joseph Mitchell Richard Price Phillip Roth James Salter Zadie Smith Gay Talese Benjamin Taylor David Foster Wallace Tom Wolfe
A. "The Corrections" "The Electric Koolaid Acid Test" "Brightness Falls" "American Pastoral" "We Wish to Inform you that Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families"
A. The Corrections
A. Revise, Revise, Revise.
A. "Can I send something to your agent?"
A. I was initially interested in how my generation—now in their late twenties and thirties--was reacting (or not reacting) to a changing America. On the one hand, our country, in the new century, is still the envy of the world—it’s only superpower, a beacon of freedom. At the same time, so many things seem headed in the wrong direction—culturally, politically, economically. The book’s two main characters, Aidan and Paige, developed out of this dichotomy. They’re well educated and similar in age, and yet they see America, and their place in it, incredibly differently. I wasn’t interested in liberal and conservative, rather apathy versus engagement, cynicism versus sincerity. How should the next generation act (and react) in a country flying on autopilot at a dangerous altitude? Have we learned any lessons from the past? And can a single person still affect change in a country run by opinion polls and mass consensus? With my two main characters staking out such extremes, I realized pretty quickly that plot would involve bringing them together, not just physically, but temperamentally. They would come to save each other--or at least try. Once the characters and themes were established the plot came quite naturally, and the book became far more suspenseful than I ever envisioned (which is never a bad thing). It also became quite research intensive. I’m a stickler for facts, even in my fiction, and I ended up speaking with all kinds of experts, from an FBI ordnance specialist to a former member of the Weather Underground. It was important that the book “feel” real, that the reader could envision these events actually occurring.