Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's Never Too Late

McSweeney's recently published Bowl of Cherries by 90-year-old Millard Kaufman, once a successful screenwriter but a debut novelist. Cherries has a 14-year-old protagonist (and people thought Tom Wolfe was ambitious to write about the college-aged!) who ends up spending part of the book in Iraq. I got a kick out of this L.A. Weekly interview with Kaufman. My favorite excerpts:
I found (writing a novel) enjoyable, but, I don't know if it's my age or what, I'd just go over and over sections looking for the apposite word. I guess I had this exalted view of fiction writing, that it was a higher art, but it's really just like anything else—you sit your ass down and you write the goddamn thing.


People are bumblers. The president is a bumbler. I don't have much respect for him, but they all have problems. Clinton did a pretty good job, but he was full of shit too. The Iraqi thing—I didn't want this book to be a war novel, but since the beginning of recorded time, which is about 6,500 years or so, we've never had peace in the world. There's always a goddamn flare-up somewhere.


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