The Widower's Tale: Q&A with Julia Glass

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Julia's Book Picks

Many authors say they can't read fiction while they write, partly because they are so sensitive to language and susceptible to the influence of other writers' prose on their own. You, on the other hand, have adamantly said otherwise. What books have you read recently and loved? Did you ever feel that any of them posed a risk to your own style?

I don't see how you can write well if you're not reading well at the same time. I think the only risk is reading too many books of one "type" in a row. Though I'd like to get to some of the classics I've missed, right now I'm reading a lot of contemporary fiction -- sometimes because I know the authors as friends and want to keep up with their work. (I am a very slow reader.) Here are some exceptional books I've read recently: To the End of the Land, by David Grossman; Emily, Alone, by Stewart O'Nan; A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True, by Brigid Pasulka; Asterios Polyp, by David Mazzucchelli; The Confessions of Edward Day, by Valerie Martin; The Walking People, by Mary Beth Keane; Where the God of Love Hangs Out, by Amy Bloom. I could go on and on!

As a teaser for your millions of fans -- including the editors here at LHJ -- can you tell us what you're working on now and approximately how long we'll have to wait before we can get our hands on it?

I'm midway through my next novel, and I don't know when it will be published -- ideally, 18 months or so from now -- but I will disclose two things about it. First, it grew out of my desire to write a contemporary "hero's quest"; second, it brings back a couple of characters from Three Junes ... and several new ones as well. And can I say how grateful I am to all those fans? I still have so much fun going out on the road and meeting "my" readers -- along with the dedicated independent booksellers who host those meetings. Without their personal passion for reading, their ability to connect individual readers with books they might never find on their own, so many authors would never have fans to begin with. I urge all my readers to support their independent bookstores. (Percy would tell you this with much more panache!)


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