William Gass

Now that we are distributing Dalkey Archive Press, we are familiarizing ourselves or reviving our admiration for a variety of the authors on their list. One of these writers is William Gass, whose Willie Masters’ Lonesome Wife is now available again.

Gass, of course, has been one of the most important writers of the past forty years and his work while always compelling can also be challenging. For those interested in exploring more about Gass’s work, here are three very different resources. First up is the aptly title Reading William Gass , a site curated and created by Stephen Schenkenberg, which collects recent news and reviews about Gass.

Two recent, but very different, interviews are also worth pointing out. In the How I Write Feature on The Daily Beast , Gass talks about, among other things, his morning routine, what makes him cry, what makes his laugh, his love for Westerns, and some of his favorite books. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

What is the story behind the publication of your first book?
The manuscript of Omensetter’s Luck was stolen, and I had to rewrite it. But that story is not behind its publication. It fell into the hands of a wonderful agent and terrific editor, after it was rejected a dozen times.

Was there a specific moment when you felt you had “made it” as an author?
Not really, but the day I saw a stack of my books in a window of the Sorbonne comes close.

What do you need to have produced/completed in order to feel that you’ve had a productive writing day?
Having passed the morning without scrapping the previous day.

Tell us a funny story related to a book tour or book event.
That they take place.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Don’t take my advice.

Also of interest are Gass’s instructions for the design of his epic masterpiece The Tunnel.

Finally, here is an extraordinary interview with Michael Silverblatt:

1 Response

  1. Hello,
    Great to hear Columbia University Press will be distributing Dalkey Archive Press. For another great resource on Gass, please see our website for a guide to his literary papers, and the “William H. Gass: The Soul Inside the Sentence” digital exhibit we created last year. http://digital.wustl.edu/williamhgass/

    Joel Minor
    Washington University Libraries Special Collections

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