O. Henry Prize, Best American Short Story author, and on Grantas list of 21 Best Young American novelists is there anything Boises Anthony Doerr cannot successfully write?
Doerr, a 38-year-old Ohio native and former Idaho State Writer in Residence, will read from his work at 8 Thursday in Moscow. Before his visit he talked to Inland 360 about living in Idaho, what hes reading now and his next book.
Q: How long have you lived in Boise?
A: Thirteen years. The love of my life grew up here. We met in college and she wanted to come back and was hired by Hewlett-Packard.
Q: Is Idaho a good place to be a writer?
A: Its a terrific place to be a parent and to be a fisherperson and to be a skier. Theres lots of things to keep me from my writing. Im not the kind of writer who needs cocktail parties.
Q: Which of your books do people most want to talk to you about?
A: That depends on context. If its a literary crowd its my short stories, The Shell Collector or Memory Wall.
If its a lot of moms or general interest readers its my memoir about my family living abroad, Four Seasons in Rome (On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World).
Q: Were you surprised when you made Grantas list of 21 Best Young American novelists? Or do you pay attention to that stuff?
A: Sure, I pay attention. I think its great. I think I may have been sad if they hadnt included my story.
Theres a certain New York-centric focus in the writing world so its always nice to know youre still reaching readers internationally when youre living in Idaho. Any honor that helps your work reach readers is good. Im learning you cant ignore capitalism entirely.
Q: What are you currently reading?
A: A book about the history of American trees. I write a science column for the Boston Globe and I read a lot of fairly esoteric and difficult books. I love it. American Canopy is about the role that trees and wood had in the growth of U.S. history. Its one of those books with 500 pages of tiny print.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: Off and on for seven years Ive been writing a novel set during World War II in France about the use of radio as both a tool of propaganda and tool in resistant occupied countries. Its about the power of radios and what a miracle it was to hear the voice of a stranger in your home.
WHO: Author Anthony Doerr WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday WHERE: BookPeople of Moscow, 521 S. Main St. ADMISSION: Free