Saturday, June 03, 2006

This Will Teach You to Trust Me

I lied! I'm going to write about the New York Times fiction poll forever, and there's nothing you or anyone else can do to stop me. Over at Critical Mass, the blog maintained by the National Book Critics Circle board of directors, they're revealing the choices of individual authors, and even getting feedback from those authors. Mary Karr -- whose The Liars' Club has to be one of the best American works of nonfiction written in the past quarter century, for my money -- here showcases some pretty strong opinions, including this one:
About the list, I'm always astonished by the devotion to Updike. I think it's just from seeing his name in the New Yorker so relentlessly. I mean, no writer I know really values those books except the first one, "Rabbit Run," which I think is terrific. After that it became dilution.
She also writes about the book she chose -- Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, which she's read once a year for more than a decade:
I find it terrifying, and even though most of the characters are pretty despicable, I love them -- I can't live without the characters. It's like having a crush on somebody and stalking them. Like you're standing outside the window of that book with your boombox on your shoulder waiting, playing love songs and hoping they'll come out again.


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