Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

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

The Best of Writers & Company: Interviews with 15 of the World’s Greatest Authors
Eleanor Wachtel

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.

Report an error

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨