What was the last book to make you laugh?
The last book that made you cry?
There’s a passage late in Amitava Kumar’s “A Matter of Rats” that took me by surprise.
The last book that made you furious?
On Literary Guilt Pleasure:
No guilt. I read many kinds of things, but my deepest happiness is in reading poetry.
On His Childhood Love:
I began early — around 6 — and by the time I was 10 I had read Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart,” Charles and Mary Lamb’s “Tales From Shakespeare” and an abridged edition of “Tom Sawyer.” I wasn’t a prodigy, but I developed a sense that access to any book was limited only by my interest and my willingness to concentrate.
What books are you embarrassed not to have read yet?
I have not read most of the big 19th-century novels that people consider “essential,” nor most of the 20th-century ones for that matter. But this does not embarrass me. There are many films to see, many friends to visit, many walks to take, many playlists to assemble and many favorite books to reread. Life’s too short for anxious score-keeping. Also, my grandmother is illiterate, and she’s one of the best people I know. Reading is a deep personal consolation for me, but other things console, too.
Read full NYT Interview HERE