Amazon Asks: "Life Among Giants" Author Bill Roorbach

RoorbachDescribe Life Among Giants (Amazon editors' Spotlight pick for Best Books of November) in one sentence.

A mere mortal tries to walk among the gods, or anyway, a talented young athlete’s life and family gets tangled with the life and family of a world-famous ballerina who lives in the mansion across the way, watch out.

In ten words.

“… a thrilling indulgence, a tale of opulence, love triangles, and madness.” Oh, sorry—that was Publisher’s Weekly.

Try again.

Two families get entangled, one rich, one poor, and fate steps in.

Three words.

Revenge takes time.

What’s on your night-table/Kindle?

It’s a big stack. Here’s the actual order, bottom to top, some already read, some cracked, some long-term projects, some awaiting insomnia: Bring up the Bodies, by Hillary Mantel; Canada by Richard Ford; Wild, by Cheryl Strayed; Waging Heavy Peace, Neil Young; When I was a Child I Read Books, by Marilynne Robinson; Lives of Girls and Women, Alice Munro; Telegraph Avenue, Michael Chabon; To Dance, Siena Cherson Siegel (borrowed from my daughter, who’s twelve); Blake Bailey’s Cheever (on the occasion of Cheever’s 100th birthday); Lost Memory of Skin, Russell Banks; Legs Get Led Astray, by Chloe Caldwell.

Three to five favorite books of all time.

The Tempest, William Shakespeare; Middlemarch, George Eliot; Moby-Dick, Herman Melville; The Great Gatsby, Scott Fitzgerald; My Antonia, Willa Cather.

Important book you never read.

So many! But, let’s say Paradise Lost, by John Milton, though I have a sense of the plot: Adam and Eve eat an apple and things go to Hell.

Book that changed your life.

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki. Simple and pure thinking, often mysterious, even confusing, that (back in the day) somehow let me settle down and just write.  

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