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Review: Eleanor Wachtel's best interviews from 25 years of Writers & Company

Title
The Best of Writers & Company: Interviews with 15 of the World’s Greatest Authors
Author
Eleanor Wachtel
Genre
Non-fiction
Pages
355
Price
$22.95

If I need to convince you about a book of interviews selected by Eleanor Wachtel as her best from the first 25 years of Writers & Company, I really don't know what to say to you. Do you even like books? What, six Nobel laureates aren't good enough for you? Wachtel brings such dedication, integrity, curiosity and elasticity of mind to her work – it doesn't really matter whether these 15 authors are your personal favourites, because you don't know what you want to know from them until they answer Wachtel's question. What I especially enjoy from a book like this are the unexpected echoes between interviews. (Zadie Smith and Doris Lessing wonder why time seemingly speeds up as you get older; Aleksandar Hemon and W.G. Sebald worry over their professors' politics.) That, and how J.M. Coetzee will accidentally describe the central tension in his fiction; or Alice Munro will talk about class-consciousness. You don't know until Wachtel asks.

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