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BOOKSHOTS: The Novelist's Cafe

How to Read a Novelist - John Freeman

Who wrote it?


John Freeman, writer, book critic, and editor-in-chief of Granta, who lives in New York City.


Plot in a Box:


A collection of profiles on novelists, from a long list of magazines of which you’ve definitely heard.


Invent a new title for this book:


The Novelists’ Café


Read this if you liked:


University of Mississippi Press’ Conversations with Authors Series, The Paris Review Interviews Vol. I-IV


Meet the book’s lead:


This book is a collection of profiles and therefore has several leads, from Lessing to Rushdie and Updike to Egan.


Said lead would be portrayed in a movie by:


This question doesn’t seem applicable here. But for whatever reason, when I think of an editor interviewing hundreds of novelists I think of the fast-talking affability and self-deprecating wit of Robert Downey Jr.


Setting: Would you want to live there?


Again, not really applicable. But the answer remains: yes. Visit the homes and home countries of all of the writers I admire? Charge the magazine for the stretch-seating and an Old-fashioned? Please and thank you.


What Was Your Favorite Sentence?


This fellowship—the deep connection of writer to writer as readers—is a hopeful thing, because it means that it is open to anyone who is a reader and who plans to be a writer.


The Verdict:


Read the rest of Chris Rosales review here.