Last week’s post featuring author videos received a nice response, so I thought I’d do a second column spotlighting some other authors. As before, I made sure all the clips were short — and again started with living writers and concluded with deceased ones.
Fannie Flagg, whose warmly compelling novels include Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, discusses topics such as how she got her pen name:
Rita Mae Brown, who first rose to literary fame with her great lesbian-themed classic Rubyfruit Jungle, talks about her mystery series co-starring human and animal detectives:
Terry McMillan focuses on how she writes her novels (Waiting to Exhale, etc.) and the unhealthiness of staying angry:
Khaled Hosseini, author of books such as The Kite Runner, recalls his transition from physician to novelist and discusses how refugees make the U.S. a better place. Hosseini himself was a refugee, from Afghanistan:
Kazuo Ishiguro, the Nobel Prize-winning writer of novels such as The Remains of the Day, talks about how restrictive it is for authors to be pigeon-holed by genre:
Walter Mosley — author of the Easy Rawlins mysteries and more — discusses reading as a kid, classic writers, and the often solitary/unglamorous life of authors:
Moving on to authors who are no longer with us…
Brief footage of Harper Lee, before she became very reclusive, at the 1962 premiere of the great movie based on her even greater novel To Kill a Mockingbird:
Iconic science-fiction writer Octavia E. Butler (Kindred, The Parable of the Sower, etc.) discusses how watching a bad movie inspired her to start writing, how the future is not always easily predictable, and more:
W. Somerset Maugham, who penned Of Human Bondage and other classics, answers several questions during a 1950 shipboard interview — including one about the impossibility of writing “the perfect novel”:
Ray Bradbury is quite engaging as he references The Martian Chronicles and more. He even reads a poem! (Thanks to Brian Bess for alerting me to this clip.)
Sue Grafton, author of the “Alphabet Mysteries” series, hilariously riffs about murderous thoughts:
Nigerian-born author Buchi Emecheta discusses living in England, her novel Second Class Citizen, and juggling parenthood and writing. (She’s in the screen shot atop this blog post, on the left.)
H.G. Wells — one of the most famous sci-fi authors to put words to paper (The Time Machine, etc.), discusses economics in his distinctive high-pitched voice:
Brief footage of Doctor Zhivago author Boris Pasternak:
Any author videos you’d like to mention?
My literary-trivia book is described and can be purchased here: Fascinating Facts About Famous Fiction Authors and the Greatest Novels of All Time.
In addition to this weekly blog, I write the award-winning “Montclairvoyant” topical-humor column for Baristanet.com. The latest piece — a comedic look at what families might do during a pandemic summer with many pools and camps closed — is here.