American history and the history of baseball are bound up together: our racial politics can be described and traced through it.
Baseball is a team game but, at the same time, it's a very lonely game: unlike in soccer or basketball, where players roam around, in baseball everyone has their little plot of the field to tend. When the action comes to you, the spotlight is on you but no one can help you.
I feel like every time I start up, it's like a truck you have to get into 15th gear, so you very solely crank into that mental space where you feel really immersed in the world of the book and then you can just kind of go. But there's just that few days of frustration to get to that point.
I was a ballplayer, but only for a limited time. I grew up playing in Wisconsin. It's a very sports-centric part of the country that I grew up in and I played a lot of sports, but baseball first and foremost. I played through high school. I was a middle-infielder.
You know, it's sort of common wisdom among New York publishers that short story collections don't make money.
I've earned my living in all sorts of terrible ways - as a janitor, a copy editor, a psychotherapist.
When I write for 'n+1,' I begin by doing a lot of reading, to try to convince myself I'm not stupid. Then I scribble down a paragraph here, a paragraph there, when a notion strikes. Then I see if I can arrange those notions in a way that yields an argument.
The novel has always been the form that incorporates other forms. For me, it has always been the ultimate medium.
Writing on a computer feels like a recipe for writer's block. I can type so fast that I run out of thoughts, and then I sit there and look at the words on the screen, and move them around, and never get anywhere. Whereas in a notebook I just keep plodding along, slowly, accumulating sentences, sometimes even surprising myself.