James Schiff is an associate professor of English at the University of Cincinnati and author of several books on contemporary American fiction, including Updike in Cincinnati. His interviews with major authors have frequently appeared in TMR. 
Sep 01 2007
A Conversation with Julian Barnes
[On the genesis of his novel Arthur & George] You think someone’s guilty, you believe they’re guilty, but how can you know they’re guilty, how can you prove they’re guilty? This tied in, I realized, with Conan Doyle’s black hole of emotions, this secret area of his life, which had never been written about before, probably because there was no documentary evidence — these ten years when he was involved with another woman while his wife was suffering from tuberculosis.
Sep 01 2006
A Conversation with Jeffrey Eugenides
The first ten years of my writing life were spent thinking about voice, tone, control of language, precision of language. Then I had to teach myself to plot. The Virgin Suicides doesn’t have a whole lot of plot. It’s a book that’s carried on its voice to a large measure. With Middlesex, I taught myself plot.
Mar 01 2006
A Conversation with Jonathan Lethem
[I]f every admirable result from setting a story in the future or from using images of the fantastic or extrapolative concepts isn’t science fiction — because it’s too good — then all that’s left to represent the label are the failed attempts to use those motifs. So of course the genre is contemptible.
Jun 01 2003
An Interview with Michael Cunningham
This interview is not currently available online. Interviewer: The Hours has been terrifically successful. But I’m curious about what you were thinking when you first began the novel. If someone