ANDREW HOLLERAN Q & A
In Capital Letters: Are there any authors, poets, books, poems, stories, that you discovered or re-discovered over the last year that you would recommend to students or colleagues, and why?
Easier to say what I've read recently: Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener (sense of place), Mentor by T. Grimes (a memoir of the Iowa Workshop that illustrates the insane vagaries of a writing career), a biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe (a biography of any writer is instructive), Proust's Overcoat (for Proust obsessives), Henry James' The Wings of the Dove (viewpoint, plotting, language, everything) two stories: Hemingway's The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber and John Updike's A Crow in the Woods (which show you, together, what an amazing spectrum the short story covers), and currently a biography of Frank Sinatra!
ICL: Can you please tell us a little about any writing and/or creative projects that you have been working on over the past year?
I subscribe to the adage that you let the air out of the tires by talking about what one is working on; so I am working on a bunch of stories, and some longer things.
ICL: What was your most exciting writing-related development this year?
Finding something in the above mentioned pile that at least keeps on going.
ICL: Have certain techniques and themes endured as central to your writing?
I guess the autobiographical/introspective style, which lands one eventually in that pesky dilemma: should this be fact or fiction?
ICL: If you weren't focused on writing, what would you be doing?
Running a beach concession in the British Virgin Islands, if there are beach concessions in the BVI.
ICL: If you had to Tweet (in 140 characters or less) about one thing you learned about yourself through your art, what would you write?
The more you learn, the less you know—writing and the self are both, in the end, a mystery!