Gay Talese for The Paris Review

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As you know from my past post, I have a professional crush on the journalist Gay Talese.  His strength in writing and wardrobe are brilliant. Here are some highlights from an interview with The Paris Review by Katie Roiphe.

INTERVIEWER
How does your writing day begin?

TALESE
Usually I wake up in bed with my wife. I don’t want to have breakfast with anyone. So I go from the third floor, which is our bedroom, to the fourth floor, where I keep my clothes. I get dressed as if I’m going to an office. I wear a tie.

INTERVIEWER
Again?

TALESE That’s right. I have an ascot and sweaters. I have a scarf.

INTERVIEWER How do you write?

TALESE Longhand at first. Then I use the typewriter.

INTERVIEWER You never write directly onto the computer?

TALESE Oh no, I couldn’t do that. I want to be forced to work slowly because I don’t want to get too much on paper. By the end of the morning I might have a page, which I will pin up above my desk. After lunch, around five o’clock, I’ll go back to work for another hour or so.

INTERVIEWER Did you read much as a child?

TALESE I read what my parish priest would call trashy fiction. The wonderful and risqué Frank Yerby—a black writer from Georgia who lived in Spain. I was reading some New Yorker writers when I was in college. That’s when I came across William Faulkner, Irwin Shaw, John O’Hara, and John Cheever.

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