At The Atlantic site, Tobias Wolff talks about writing dialogue for Hemingway, Robert Frost, and other writers who visit a prep school in his latest novel, Old School:
Oh, I loved doing it. I got to have conversations with these writers, conversations I’d always wanted to have. And I enjoyed the research tremendously, though it did lead to some unexpected revelations. I thought Ayn Rand was very much a creature of my time. Well, I was doing the research at the Stanford University library, and almost invariably the books I was looking for on Frost and Hemingway were there on the shelves. Some of them hadn’t been taken out, I’m afraid to say, in years. When I started doing my research on Ayn Rand, on anything about her or by her, I almost always had to put out a call order for it because some undergraduate had it. She is extremely popular still with people of that age. Her books continue to sell and, I’m afraid, to influence young people.
Janet Maslin reviews Jim Crace’s latest novel, noting that at first blush it appears “more audacious and inventive than it turns out to be,” but still admiring much of his language, which she says “is beautifully calibrated to evoke the erotic aspects of the everyday.” See also the link to Crace’s interview in The Paris Review, a few posts down.