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Famous Authors, at Rest and at Email

 by Michael Rowe

Tags: Great Writing, PEN American Center, David Gates, Jonathan Lethem, email, writing, the digital age,


Say there’s a room. In the room you have a chair and a desk. On the desk is a computer, with an internet connection. Then there’s another room, identical in every respect to the first room. Now, put two novelists in these rooms. Each gets his own room, but in order to be let out (for food and freedom), both have to have a long email exchange with one another about writing in the digital age. Say the writers in question are David Gates and Jonathan Lethem. Furthermore, let’s say that their intellectual agility is no less apparent in their written conversation than it is in their fiction.

Well, the PEN American Center has answered the call: Lethem and Gates, email after email after email, have chatted away an enjoyable 15 minutes of my time. Choice comment from Lethem:

And Gates’ choice response:

Source: PEN American Center 

Image by Coletivo Mambembe, licensed under Creative Commons.