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Kay Bonetti

Kay Bonetti is director of the American Audio Prose Library Program.


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Dec 01 1998

An Interview with Andrei Codrescu

Interviewer: How did you come to the United States?

Codrescu: Let’s see. I swam across the Danube through miles of barbed wire….I ran into people holding hand grenades…No, I came on an airplane with my mother in the mid-sixties, 1965. We left Romania. We were bought by the state of Isreal, which at the time was happily buying freedom for Jews from Romania for the princely sum of five thousand dollars a head. The government paid ten thousand dollars for my mother and me. We were supposed to go to Isreal, but we never did.

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Sep 01 1996

A Conversation with William Maxwell

Interviewer: You’ve said you learned from E.B. White that the “I” should always be a real character in any piece that you’ve written. Have you ever had a sense in your writing life that you were flying in the face of current convention, or being old-fashioned, by adhering to that principle?

Maxwell: I never worried about being old-fashioned because the books I’ve continued to read all my life have been the Russians. I wanted to write about people, men and women. What’s old-fashioned about men and women?

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Dec 01 1992

An Interview with Margaret Walker

I’m one of the few black writers who lives in the South and writes there. Alice Walker told me she had to get out of Mississippi. She simply could not write there. I don’t feel that I have to be in exile to write. I wrote at Yaddo. I wrote at Cape Cod. I wrote in Virginia. I wrote in North Carolina. I wrote in New York. I wrote in Chicago. There is no place that I can live where I can’t write. Maybe if I were in New York or Chicago my stuff might be considered better than it’s considered as a southern woman living in Jackson. But I don’t care about that. Those places were too cold, the pace was too fast. I just like living where I live.

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Sep 01 1988

An Interview with Barry Lopez

I wanted to write, but I never thought that I could make my living that way, so like everybody else in that position, I decided to go to graduate school. I didn’t know what else to do. I finished a Master’s degree, and I was very briefly in an MFA program. I never thought of myself in terms of having an occupation as a writer until I filled out my 1040 in April, where I put that down. I just did what I thought of as “my work”. I traveled and paid attention, and I tried to express what I saw clearly in language that I thought would leave me, personally on the periphery. I would remind myself that if I lost a sense of naivete I’d lose the frame of mind the reader needs, which is to start with you from scratch.

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Mar 01 1988

An Interview with Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris

We’re collaborators, but also indivdual writers. Michael and I plunge into each other’s work with very little ceremony. We plot together, we dream up our characters together, we do everything together, except write the actual drafts, although even the writing is subject to one another’s deepest desires. We go over every manuscript word by word. Then we argue over whatever we feel should be changed and we try to come to some sort of agreement on everything that goes out.

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Jan 01 1983

An Interview with Harry Crews

I wanted very much to write the book [A Childhood], but wasn’t sure I could. It is first of all about people, many of whome are still alive, or their children are, and since I wanted to be true to that time and that place and that experience I put them in the book as they were. You and I know that most people don’t want to be set down as they are. They want to look better than they are. It’s a perfectly human thing, but you can’t do that when you’re writing.