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How to Read a Novelist

How to Read a Novelist is the ultimate booklovers book.

John Freeman, author and editor of Granta magazine, has interviewed nearly every name in fiction and the literary world. In this collection Freeman has compiled the most insightful and fascinating of his interviews, essays and articles.

Paul Theroux on the state of sex in America, Margaret Atwood as inventor, John Updike as relationship advisor and Geoff Dyer as England’s hippest middle-aged novelist, among many others including Philip Roth, Siri Hustevdt, Doris Lessing, Kirin Desai, Toni Morrison, Kazuo Ishiguro, Tom Wolfe and Peter Carey. 

Interviews, essays and articles:

Toni Morrison, 2004
Jonathan Safran Foer, 2005
Haruki Murakami, 2008
Richard Ford, 2007
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, 2006
Gunter Grass, 2007
Nadine Gordimer, 2007
David Foster Wallace, 2006
Khaled Hosseini, 2007
Doris Lessing, 2006
Hisham Matar, 2007
Siri Hustvedt & Paul Auster, 2008
Kazuo Ishiguro, 2005
Charles Frazier, 2006
Edmund White, 2005
Geraldine Brooks, 2008
Imre Kertész, 2004
Oliver Sacks, 2007
Kiran Desai, 2006
Philip Roth, 2006
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 2006
Dave Eggers, 2005
Vikram Chandra, 2007
Adrienne Rich, 2006
Tom Wolfe, 2004
Robert M. Pirsig, 2006
Elif Shafak, 2007
Peter Carey, 2008
Mo Yan, 2012
Donna Leon, 2005
John Updike, 2003
Seamus Heaney, 2006
Joyce Carol Oates, 2007
Paul Theroux, 2005
Don DeLillo, 2006
Louise Erdrich, 2008
Norman Mailer, 2007
James Wood, 2008
Margaret Atwood, 2006
Mohsin Hamid, 2007
Richard Powers, 2006
Alan Hollinghurst, 2004
Ian McEwan, 2005
Caryl Phillips, 2005
Wole Soyinka, 2007
Salman Rushdie, 2005
Jim Crace, 2007
Marilynne Robinson, 2012
Edmundo Paz Soldán, 2006
Amitav Ghosh, 2008
Ayu Utami, 2006
Frank McCourt, 2005
Sebastian Junger, 2006
Geoff Dyer, 2003
A. S. Byatt, 2005

Interview highlights:

ABC Radio National Books & Arts Daily

4ZZZ FM The Book Club

New York Observer

John Freeman
About the Author

John Freeman is the author of How to Read a Novelist, Tales of Two Cities, and the forthcoming Tales of Two Americas. Maps, his debut collection of poems, will be published by Copper Canyon in October. He is executive editor at the Literary Hub and teaches at the New School and New York University. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the ...

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Text publication date:
22 August 2012
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Praise for John Freeman
andHow to Read a Novelist

‘Freeman’s interviews transcend the mechanics of the encounters and, beyond smart and knowledgeable, he’s the kind of interlocutor who asks a sideways question, then pays attention to the space and circumstance of the answer as much as to its words.’

‘John Freeman’s collection of interviews spans 56 giants of the literary world, nine years and an accumulated IQ reaching into the stratosphere.’

‘Pure gold…Full of wit and wisdom; a buoy in the face of life’s inevitable swats.’

‘This book is billed as “the ultimate booklover’s book” and it’s true. This booklover was in a state approaching ecstasy reading about John Freeman’s conversations and intimacies (and occasional gaffes) with all the writers I have loved and wondered about.’

‘Bearing in mind that novelists must be the most self-aware profession to interrogate, Freeman here triumphs.’

Other editions ofHow to Read a Novelist
  • How to Read a Novelist
    ISBN: 9781921961106
    22 August 2012
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