Now that the readership of this blog has swollen to dozens, I feel there is the necessary critical mass to bring to your attention the ongoing labors of an inestimable cultural worker (he would never consider himself management, though he has found himself in the odd position of having the title of editor innumerable times and publisher somewhat less often—indeed, if truth be told, one of his very few deficiencies is, let me say, a certain inattentiveness to the quotidian requirements of managing the exigencies and demands of life; but this mainly because he lives for his son, his canine companion, the equally inestimable Rosie—a yellow Lab of nobility and gentility—and his art, and likely in precisely that order, and sometimes his own needs receive less than the requisite regard).
Robert Birnbaum—the redoubtable and irrespressible “Izzy” whose chastening remarks
and gentle if insistent chiding now give all signs of appearing regularly on these virtual pages—is a literary journalist, raconteur, and literary conversationalist of national repute. In the past 20 years he has conversed (he eschews the term, “interview” for reasons readily apparent when you read any representative transcript) with upwards of 500 or 600 companions of letters. These are, in the main, published authors, of fiction and non-fiction alike, who have grounds for the designation, “literary.” This is as opposed to your garden variety pot-boiler types.
I commend to your immediate attention, that is, after first checking these haunts for the latest post, which you must read before hying off to some other outpost with a URL designation, either of the Websites through whose channels Robert emits his verbal exertions.
The conversations (you may discover that either or both of these Websites refer to them as “interviews;” I certainly, and Robert likely, accept no responsibility for such misnomers) appear here:
His main outlet, added since the original posting of this essay, is now his own blog, Our Man in Boston: http://ourmaninboston.com, to whose feed I strongly suggest you subscribe.
His many conversations have appeared in a number of places, but mainly in the two following, which maintain an archive of his interviews and where it is safe, for the time being, to go looking for the more historic encounters.
In the fullness of time, that is, once I’ve learned how Typepad allows such things, I will place these as permanent links on the pages of this blog. Until then, you are on your own to roll your own. Go hie, and godspeed…