Monday, May 23, 2011

Patrick deWitt

Patrick deWitt was born on Vancouver Island in 1975. He has also lived in California, Washington, and Oregon, where he currently lives with his wife and son. He is the author of two novels, Ablutions and The Sisters Brothers.

Early this month I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
I’m reading a few different things right now. First up is Manhattan Transfer by John Dos Passos. I’ve started working on a new novel that takes place partly in Manhattan, and while I’m familiar with the town, I’m not intimate with it, and I thought reading MT might knock something loose for me. It hasn’t yet, but I’m enjoying the read very much. It’s a hands on kind of story -- tactile and vividly descriptive.

Next is Dennis Cooper’s to-be released The Marbled Swarm. The narrator is the 22-year-old illegitimate son of French actor/director Pierre Clementi. Also he’s a billionaire. And a murderer. And a cannibal. And he’s really funny and charming. I’ve just got started on this one, but I’m loving it; the language is a knockout, and represents a big departure for Cooper in that it’s wordy and ornate, a bold shift from his more pared back earlier novels.

Last, I’m reading Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. I saw an old copy in the dollar bin of the local book store and brought it home to my six year old. This is his first non-picture book, and he was wary: “Where’s the pictures?” “You listen to the words and then the pictures come into your head.” “They do?” He was frustrated by this at the start, but we’ve fallen into a routine of reading two chapters a night, by the second night he was all in.
Visit Patrick deWitt's website.

--Marshal Zeringue