Friday, July 9, 2010

Anthony Doerr, On Reading

"When you’re falling into a good book, exactly as you might fall into a dream, a little conduit opens, a two-way, extra-dimensional tunnel between a reader’s heart and a writer’s, a passageway that transcends the barriers of continents, generations, and often even death. When you’re engrossed in a book, you can shed the material complications of your body in a sentence and become the opposite sex; you can be six years old or seventy-six; you can be a Japanese sailor or an Indian surgeon or a Martian explorer; you can be Ishmael, or an oversized, perplexed cockroach.

You read for a half hour, an hour, an airplane flight. Then you look up. Your hand is cramped; your leg is asleep; time has mysteriously compressed. And here's the miracle: you’re different. You’ve changed. You can never go back to being exactly the same person you were before you disappeared into that book."

Anthony Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho. He’s the author of three books: The Shell Collector, About Grace, and Four Seasons in Rome. Doerr’s fiction has won three O. Henry Prizes and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. His work has been translated into eleven languages and has won awards including the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Ohioana Book Award twice. His fourth book, a collection of six long stories titled Memory Wall, was published by Scribner in July 0f 2010. Visit his website here or follow him on Facebook here.}

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