I'll read anything Anne Carson writes, anything J. M. Coetzee writes, and anything Cormac McCarthy writes. I'll drop whatever I'm doing to read a new Mary Ruefle essay.

Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

Fiction writers have long turned to winter to advance bluer palettes, slicker surfaces, and sharper contrasts. The sky darkens, the wind picks up, and flakes start to fall. Horizons shrink. Couples bicker. Cars slide off roads. Obliteration tends to loiter between the sentences.

We live in a culture that venerates scores. We affix numbers to how much fat is in our mochachinos, how quickly our telephones suck information from the air, how much pain we're in. Reading, too, has become a skill to quantifiably assess.

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.

The most amazing gift about being a novelist is that you get to pursue your curiosity every day.

Learned to read, and for a while as a kid, you think books are just leaves on trees. Then suddenly, you think a human being is making that, and maybe you could do that.

But then of course you reach a point where you have to say, I've got to figure out how this book's going to end. Otherwise, you're going to write yourself into so many dead-ends.

Great writers probably shouldn't be ranked, at least not by me.

I read Stephen Crane's 'The Open Boat' when I was 11.

I do fish. I think there is a connection between thinking and fishing mostly because you spend a lot of time up to your waist in water without a whole lot to keep your mind busy.

I write reviews of science books for the Boston Globe, so I like to give science books.

It wasn't until I was 26 or 25 when I started sending work out to magazines.

Short stories are wonderful and extremely challenging, and the joy of them, because it only takes me three or four months to write, I can take more risks with them. It's just less of your life invested.

I'm terrified of cliches.

Maybe scarcity isn't always a bad thing. Maybe scarcity is something to seek out, to fabricate for oneself.