New from Simon & Schuster

Author Revealed

Revealing Questions

Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

A. lucky in kids, in work that i love

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. if not here, where? if not now, when?

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. Nonexistent past the age of 7. But later, if you find work that both satisfies you and somehow contributes to the balance of the world; if you have people to love, who love you back; if you love yourself sufficiently but not too much; contentment can land, unexpectedly and briefly, like a buttefly alighting on your shoulder. It doesn't hurt, either, if at the same time you are outside sipping a beer in the sun on the first real day of spring.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. Myself. The source of all true fear.

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. Sulawesi (Indonesia), about to board a black freighter captained by a one-eyed, defrocked Franciscan

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. Charles Saunders Peirce (look him up)

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. Nelson Mandela

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. "on one level ... on another level"

Q. What do you regret most?

A. Not having gone on to Jalalabad when I was in Afghanistan (under the Russians) with the Mujahideen

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A. Play the trumpet like Louis Armstrong

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. My kids: my daughter, Emilie, and my son, Alexandre.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. Leaping before I look

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. Humility

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

A. an Alaskan timber wolf, always assuming Sarah Palin was miles away

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. I listen. Most people don't. Which doesn't mean I'm always interested, but I do listen.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. Justine Hosnani, in Durrell's Alexandria Quartet

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. Humbert Humbert (Lolita)

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A. Adolf Hitler. "Seriously, Adolf, you're a wonderful house painter, keep at it."

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. people on cellphones in public places

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

A. (censored)

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. marine archeologist

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A. honesty, diligence, a good head for liquor

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A. ambrosia

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. 4th Time Around (Bob Dylan), Into My Arms (Nick Cave), That's How Strong My Love Is (Otis Redding), Funky Broadway (Wilson Pickett), I Wanna Be Sedated (Ramones)

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