where the writers are

Favorite Books

Tender is the Night The Piano Teacher Water for Elephants The Kite Runner A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man The Sportswriter

What I'm Reading

Recently I was very taken by Janice Y. K. Lee's The Piano Teacher, which is reminiscent of my ex-wife's fine novel, The Distant Land of my Father. Both include scenes before, during, and after the Japanese occupation of China. I particularly enjoyed the careful way Lee describes the grief of a man who'd been complicit in the death of a lover, an emotion I explore in The Sureness of Horses.

Favorite Authors

I've been honored to be part of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers over an extended period. In fiction I've studied with Richard Ford, Sandra Scofield, Amy Tan, Louis B. Jones, who's edited both my novels, Mark Childress. A highlight of my life was the week I spent with Raymond Carver at Centrum. Scott Fitzgerald was an early influence. In poetry I studied, among others, with Brenda Hillman, Lucille Clifton, Galway Kinnell, Sharon Olds, and Robert Hass. Thaisa Frank helped in private lessons. At the Kidney Foundation Luncheon I help with the book signings, working with Khaled Hosseini, Amy Tan, Gary Pomerantz, Michael Chabon, and Tobias Wolff; great event.

Influences

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Edna Ferber
Raymond Carver
Sara Gruen
Tillie Olson
Richard Ford