Time and death: It's the ultimate vision of an artist at the end of everything. It's just what's there. It was not something I planned to do.
It's my contention that each book creates its own structure and its own length. I've written three or four slim books. It may be that the next novel is a big one, but I don't know.
When I work, I'm just translating the world around me in what seems to be straightforward terms. For my readers, this is sometimes a vision that's not familiar. But I'm not trying to manipulate reality. This is just what I see and hear.
I was too much of a Bronx kid to read Emerson or Hawthorne.
Too young for Korea, too old for Vietnam.
Doesn't seem quite real. It's not meaningful. I can't quite imagine myself being 73. That's the age my father was! [Laughter.] How can I be his age? It's weird.
We are not native. We have no generations of Americans behind us. We have roots elsewhere. We are looking in from the outside. To me, that seems to be perfectly natural.