André Aciman: How I Write

wwnorton:

picadorbookroom:

From the interview:

You also love Proust. Was it love at first sight, or did he have to grow on you?

It was in a bookstore in Paris. I was with my father, and he picked up volume two and told me that perhaps I should read this. These were his exact words, with that tiny “perhaps” wedged in to soften the recommendation, in case I was tempted to resist because it came from a father. I knew he had good taste and so I started reading Proust then and there. But it took me no time to realize that Proust was either difficult or too close to home, or both—so I put away Proust and didn’t come back to him until I was 21. I like coming to Proust after reading so many classics. You can’t read Dostoyevsky after Proust. Actually, you can’t read anyone after Proust; so if you’re going to love an author better read him before reading Proust. Proust displaces the whole cannon; he redefined my love of literature.

And perhaps you should read André Aciman’s next novel, Harvard Square, coming from Norton in April. It could redefine your love of literature.

André Aciman: How I Write

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