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Terry’s favorite moments from interviews with Pulitzer prizewinning authors

04/23/15
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We were very excited at Well Read this week when the Pulitzer prizewinners were announced. If you get our newsletter (you don’t?! Subscribe here.), you already know that both the fiction and nonfiction winners were on our show — Anthony Doerr, author of “All the Light We Cannot See” for fiction, and Elizabeth Kolbert, author of “The Sixth Extinction.” And three of the four finalists for the award in fiction (including Doerr) were “Well Read” guests. The finalists included Joyce Carol Oates and Richard Ford. 

I went through the interviews with Doerr and Kolbert and picked out some of my favorite moments. Below are those quotes. Enjoy. (And if you’ve read the books, follow the links to the book page above and write a review. We love to hear your thoughts.)

When I asked Doerr about his character, Marie, and portraying her blindness: How did he know he was getting it right?

“Lots of research, lots of reading memoirs by blind writers. Also, you kind of become a method actor…. When the writing is going well, you immerse yourself so much that I (would) forget for a few minutes after I finish that I could see. I was really trying to focus on texture, smell… trying to incorporate in… sentences all of the gifts that we have as novelists that film makers don’t. I need the texture of a table, and the smell of flowers, and smell the ocean in ways that are really unique to novelists and short-story writers. We don’t have to build really elaborate sets or have a sound guy make the ocean roar. We just do it by putting black marks on a white page.

Kolbert was on on “Well Read” in 2014. Here’s what she had to say about how these times we’re in are so different in terms of extinction:

“In the normal course of events… extinction should happen very, very rarely. It should only happen basically as often as you see a new animal evolve. So we don’t see any new species popping up around us, so we also shouldn’t see animals going extinct. But we all know of animals that have gone extinct in our lifetimes or very close to extinction… If you can see anything, any mammal, any bird, any reptile go extinct in the course of your lifetime than something really, really unusual in the history of life is going on.

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