What interests me is whatever it is that allows the heart to continue to yearn for something the intelligence knows is impossible to have: a lost love, a shelter from life's blows, the return of a time past, even a connection to the dead.
It worries me that undergrads and high school students are forced into books they aren't ready for, like Faulkner's, and then they are afraid of putting their toes in the water again.
I've always believed you go to literature to find the shared human experience, not the categorized human experience.
Family dynamics are true over time, across generations and different cultures.
A perfect poem you can't pin down and say, 'This is exactly what it meant to me.' It's not a self-help manual.
Those of us who know the transporting wonder of a reading life know that it little matters where we are when we talk about books or meet authors or bemoan the state of publishing because when we read, we are always inside, sheltered in that interior room, that clean, well-lighted, timeless place that is the written word.
Some readers sort of suspect that you have another book that you didn't publish that has even more information in it. I think that readers sort of want to be taught something. They have this idea that there's a takeaway from a novel rather than just the being there, which I think is the great, great pleasure of reading.