His new book is Lions in the Balance: Man-Eaters, Manes, and Men with Guns.
Recently I asked Packer about what he was reading. His reply:
I had the good fortune of getting to know Cormac McCarthy during my stay at the Santa Fe Institute this past winter. By the time of our initial meeting, I had only read No Country for Old Men, The Road and All the Pretty Horses, but I confessed to him that I had finished The Road the very day that I drafted the concluding passage to Lions in the Balance and that his writing had inspired the spirit and rhythm of my final sentences. He asked why, and I replied that I had fought a largely losing battle against corruption and chaos in Africa, and his ending for the downward spiral in The Road was perfect: no matter how horrible and hopeless life may seem, we have to keep going. And his reply was instant, “It is my belief that none of us are descended from quitters.” We talked a lot about life and literature over the next few months, during which time I twice read Blood Meridian, and it was a true privilege to be able to discuss his works with him. By the time I left Santa Fe, I was wishing that I could write fiction. Lions in the Balance has plenty of real-life danger and mayhem, but these events had to happen of their own accord – and it will likely take decades before I can fill another book with so much intensity.Learn more about Lions in the Balance at the University of Chicago website.
My Book, The Movie: Lions in the Balance.