Do you like people? Or, do you at least like to read about people? And write about people? To find out how they got where they are, and where they might be going? To ask how they’ve succeeded and where they’ve failed? If so (and if you happen to be within driving distance of Minneapolis) you may be interested in a class I’ll be offering at The Loft called In Profile, the Art of Writing Lives, on April 17. I’ve profiled writers, senators, brain scientists and Klingon karaoke stars. Everyone has a story. You just have to know how to find it. More info here.
Archive for March, 2010
In a sense, Ted Conover has been on the road much of his writing life. For his first book, Rolling Nowhere, he rode the rails with hobos across America. For his second book, Coyotes, he spent a year crossing the southern border with people on their way into the U.S. looking for a better life. His next two books, Whiteout (about Aspen, Colorado) and Newjack (about Sing Sing prison) kept him settled. But in his latest book, The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today, he’s back on the move, exploring roads from East Africa to the West Bank, from the Andes to the Himalayas. I asked about it via email.
In the new issue of Poets & Writers there’s a profile I did of Sam Lipsyte, who is sort of a hero to my generation–maybe our Shakespeare and definitely our Swift. Lipsyte is the one who most perfectly articulates our mix of ambition and disappointment, dreams and despair, humor and pathos. His renditions of the lives we’ve cobbled together out of the rubble of the eighties resonate deeply and his new book, The Ask, is no exception. In it, he’s taken his craft to another level, and written a truly great book. For more on his life and times, check out the profile, which is not online and probably won’t be. For more on the book, a review is here. I’m going to go out on a limb here and venture that this will be his big one.