Author interviews
March 28, 2009 3:54 PM   Subscribe

What is the best author interview you have found?

I don't care about any particular genre, all I care about is: Do you have a favorite author? If yes: Do you have a favorite interview with that person? If so, can you give me a link?

If this is too chatfiltery, remove.
posted by Dumsnill to Writing & Language (19 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
William Gibson's interview-umentary is pretty good. Both for it's intellectual headiness and nerdy novelty.
posted by cowbellemoo at 4:04 PM on March 28, 2009

Kurt Vonnegut's interview with himself is very good. As are most interviews with authors in The Paris Review.
posted by ijsbrand at 4:07 PM on March 28, 2009

Thanks, that's kind of what I'm what I'm looking for, but not quite. (But it's very much in the right direction.
posted by Dumsnill at 4:18 PM on March 28, 2009

I really like the science fiction author Octavia Butler, and although Charlie Rose was really not doing well giving the interview (poor questions/odd statements), Octavia managed to present interesting material. I love this interview.

Another favorite author is Ray Bradbury, and he gave great interviews.

Finally, the best author interviews I have ever heard were done by Studs Terkel (eg, an interview with Gore Vidal). Unfortunately, I can't find youtube links - I find a collection of the interviews on a CD in the library, but it is a starting point if you are interested

Good luck
posted by Wolfster at 4:19 PM on March 28, 2009

This Friedrich Duerrenmat interview that touches on philosophy, Hegel, free will, and how he would have written Romeo and Juliet warms every corner of my nerd heart.
posted by Dukat at 4:48 PM on March 28, 2009

Sure, but again, I was more thinking along the lines of this:

(an interview with Navokov)

But I would like it to be long and in writing

What I really would like to see is a (written) interview with one of your favourite writers, about his/her work-habits. But above all: "Here is my favorite writer: This is how he/she works."
posted by Dumsnill at 4:49 PM on March 28, 2009

Interview with Jack Kerouac.

Yup, he's my favorite.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:51 PM on March 28, 2009

I realize this is sort of nonsensical, of course, but go back to the original question: What is your favourite author interview?

Leave all else aside.
posted by Dumsnill at 4:58 PM on March 28, 2009

Oh, thanks grapefruit, that looks kinda cool!
posted by Dumsnill at 5:14 PM on March 28, 2009

As well ask who is my favorite author, or what my favorite interview.

That said-

Funny you should ask. Just last night I ran through the six parter on youtube that comprise an hour with Bernard Cornwell.

Not claiming him as my favorite writer, but he's an engaging talker.

More writerly would be Evelyn Waugh. There's a good interview with him on the BBC, choppy, alas, but interesting if you like Waugh. Lot of good other stuff on that site as well.

Sorry not written, but what the hell. Writing is dying medium.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:14 PM on March 28, 2009

It is, but thanks IndigoJones.
posted by Dumsnill at 5:18 PM on March 28, 2009

I like this interview with Robert Olem Butler which I think is along the lines of what you're looking for.

Something slightly less writerly, but my favorite interview in writing is this one with Cormac McCarthy.
posted by nameless.k at 6:09 PM on March 28, 2009

David Foster Wallace has an interview with Charlie Rose, which is really great. DFW's been interviewed to death about Infinite Jest by now, and Rose knows this, so what he does is to be really circumspect in his questions. For example: Charlie Rose introduces DFW's books, and then starts with a question about the occupation of DFW's father (which really doesn't have that much to do with DFW's writing itself) and then slowly segues into DFW himself. He gives a lot of space to Wallace to spout out on a lot of things, including David Lynch, his own graduate schooling, etc. It's one of the least intrusive interviews I've seen ever, and one of the few interviews in which DFW is mildly comfortable with talking a lot and talking a lot about talking.

Also: this interview between David Foster Wallace and Michael Silverblatt, on KCRW. It's a really intelligent and thoughtful interview (enough so that DFW at one point says "I feel like I want to ask you to adopt me.") You can tell DFW liked the discussion and was impressed by Silverblatt because he comes back to talk on the show five more times.
posted by suedehead at 6:40 PM on March 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oops, sorry, also not in writing. Writing's not dying!
posted by suedehead at 6:41 PM on March 28, 2009

The Paris Review has an archive of author interviews and those interviews have always been focused on writer's working habits.

Dalkey Archive has a nice collection, too.

A couple of my favorites from elsewhere.

Thomas Bernhard
Gilbert Sorrentino
posted by otio at 1:46 PM on March 29, 2009

Ol' Bill Faulkner.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 11:27 AM on March 31, 2009

After having read through all answers, I'm favouriting most of them. Not because they're all brilliant, but because they all helped me, they all pointed me in the direction of something interesting.
posted by Dumsnill at 12:09 PM on April 1, 2009

Slaps forehead

Shelby Foote, of course. (He's done many, but this is a good one to start with)
posted by IndigoJones at 9:07 AM on April 4, 2009

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