Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Adam Gopnik interview

Via Child_Lit, an interesting interview with Adam Gopnik about his latest book, and first work for children, The King in the Window. Regan Mc Mahon, San Francisco Chronicle Assistant Book Editor, interviews Gopnik for

I just finished reading The King in the Window and hope to post a review this evening. It is a fascinating, compelling read (with a few "issues," mostly to do with editorial choices, in my opinion.)

Gopnik talks of his creation of the book, other children's literature he likes and is reading currently (Harry Potter, Series of Unfortunate Events), and the joy and interest in raising children. My favorite part of the interview, however, was when he discussed the parental ban on reading at night established in his home:

  • "But he and his older sister Alison, one of his five siblings, found a way around the cutoff. They discovered that if they sat in the doorways of their facing rooms, there was just enough light coming up the stairwell from their parents' bedroom to read by. So every night about 11, he and Alison would tiptoe out into the dim glow. 'It was this silent, clandestine partnership,' he recalls. 'She'd be reading her book and I'd be opposite her, reading my book, we'd look at each other from time to time -- 'Are they coming?' That's one of the keenest memories of my childhood.'"

I think all readers have such memoirs. I read with a flashlight, mostly, and waited until my parents went to bed (always early, fortunately) to turn it on. I'd be reading long after they went to sleep.