Sometimes my readers ask me what else they should read, and I recommend Sebald.

Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

We only get 60 years, if we're really lucky, as adults on earth, and why not try to wake up every day and learn something and talk to people?

My mom is a science teacher in high school, and one of my brothers works in optics at Bell Labs, and so I was always surrounded by it.

It took me about three years to write About Grace. I wasn't teaching two of those years, so I was working eight-hour days, five days a week. And it would include research and reading - it wasn't just a blank page, laying down words.

Without always meaning to, I write really long short stories, 60-pagers, 90-pagers, pieces of fiction that are too long for all but the bravest magazines to print, and too short for all but the bravest book publishers to publish.

I never played inside as a kid - even in the rain I'd go out.

I originally got very interested in memory in high school when my grandmother came to live with us. She had been diagnosed with dementia. It was the first time I had heard the word 'Alzheimer's disease.'

Anyone who has spent a few nights in a tent during a storm can tell you: The world doesn't care all that much if you live or die.

That's the power of fiction, that it can take the collective and make it personal.

I was a nerdy kid.

'Research,' for me, is a big word that encompasses a lot of different activities, all of them based around curiosity. Research is traveling to places, or studying snowflakes with a magnifying glass, or excavating one's memories. Research is walking around Hamburg with a notebook.

Fridays after school, especially when the weather was lousy, Mom would take me to the library. She'd let me check out whatever I wanted, and I checked out a lot.

When I was a boy, all the books I owned fit on a single shelf. Now I have several thousand stacked around the house.

I feel like it has gone very fast for me, but I feel like it wasn't instantaneous, at all. I was getting a lot of rejections. I just got very lucky and it happened quickly for me. I don't feel like I'm a prodigy or something.

The preciousness of life and the changes of weather and the beauty of seasons - all those things have always sort of dazzled me.