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Nathaniel Rich lives in New York City, where he is an editor at The Paris Review. He is the author of San Francisco Noir and The Mayor's Tongue is his[…]

It started with an early obsession with Stephen King.

Topic: Nathaniel Rich's Influences

Nathaniel Rich: When I was growing up from the ages of 9 to 14 I only read Stephen King books outside of school. I remember when I was in third grade- or fourth grade I- we all had to write down what our- the books we read over the summer. And I remember the expression on Ms. Sobol’s face, my teacher, when I read The Dead Zone and The Tommyknockers. She was really horrified and upset, and that- that’s when I think I knew I was doing the right- right thing. So Stephen King was always actually a big influence growing up. I went through a phase late- later in my adolescence when I was reading a lot of British writers of- Martin Amos generation, early Ian MacEwan, Julian Barnes, especially those three I’d suppose; read a lot of Dickens and I really love Dickens. Then in college I studied literature and I- I studied 20th Century European Literature. So that- those are the things I’ve- I’ve read the most, and ever since I started working at The Paris Review I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary American and fiction to try to catch up a little bit.


Recorded On: 3/17/08