Lev Grossman is a senior writer and book critic for TIME magazine and author of the international bestselling novel Codex. He has written for The New York Times, Wired, Salon.com, Lingua Franca, Entertainment Weekly, Time Out New York, The Wall Street Journal, and The Village Voice. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circleand as the chair of the Fiction Awards Panel. He is also the creator of the Time blog Nerd World.
His other works include Warp, The Magicians, The Magician King, and The Magician's Land.
Grossman holds degrees in comparative literature from Harvard and Yale. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
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Your previous novel, Codex, is a thriller about a fourteenth-century manuscript and a sinister high-tech computer game. What is it that interests you about the intersection of contemporary life and fantasy?
I think Ive always been interested in that intersection, even before I had any kind of proper vocabulary for talking about it. Which implies that I have one now, probably wrongly. But let me try to explain what interests me about fantasies and, really, stories in general. When we read books and watch television or movies, were seeing representations of peoples lives. And I always wondered, even as a little kid, why does my life, which superficially resembles a life in a story, feel so different from a life in a story? Lives in stories are exciting and vivid and meaningful. Real lives are chaotic and disorganized and frequently boring, and that feeling of meaningfulness comes and goes, out of your control. Its hard to hang on to. Why doesnt life feel more like a story? Like a fantasy? I dont know. But now, at a time in history when we spend so much of our waking life being entertained by stories, I wonder that even more.
Is The Magicians a critique of or an homage to our collective need ...
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